Showing posts with label Martial Arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Martial Arts. Show all posts

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Martial Arts Talk: Exclusive Interview with Elaina Maxwell

MMA Fighter Elaina "Beef"
Back in late 2012, I had the opportunity to talk to MMA fighter Elaina Maxwell. As one of the toughest women on the planet, Maxwell has an array of experience in women's mixed martial arts, as she has quite a few fights under her belt.

Recently, I caught up with her again. Only this time we talk about training, the UFC, and Gina Carano. Elaina also answers some questions from her fans. Here is what Elaina had to say...

(Q) Hello Elaina! It's been quite a while since we both spoke. How are you?

I have been great! I have been training at two gyms. The CSA Gym ( in Dublin, CA and Unlimited MMA in Milpitas, CA. I've been working with a boxing trainer by the name of Tony Clayton.

(Q) You have been training a lot. Taking you through an average day of training, what is your current training regime? Tell me a little more about it...
I train around my work schedule, which is different every week, so it keeps me on my toes as far as finding time to do both. I'm getting in 5 days of training every week!

(Q) Let's talk about the UFC (or Ultimate Fighting Championship). What are your thoughts about women's MMA being added?
I'm in love with women's MMA being in the UFC. On my Warrior Nation episode on MSNBC in 2006 (vs. Gina Carano), Dana White said that women will never be in the UFC. I am very glad he changed his mind. The fans want to see us in the UFC!

(Q) I believe UFC President Dana White needs to add the Women's Featherweight (or 145 pound) category. I also believe you need to be in the UFC, as well.
I know I belong in the UFC, so thank you for your support!

(Q) If you could say anything to Mr. Dana White right now, what would you say?
I'll fight Gina right now!

(Q) One of your fans named George writes: "If you could get down to 135 just to fight with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, would you do it or are you going to wait until Dana adds the 145 pound weight class?"
If I could make the drop to 135 easier, I would, but I am hoping Dana adds a FW 145 class, ASAP. In the meantime, I am going to fight a kickboxing fight and then get right back into the cage.

(Q) One of your fans named Troy writes: "Who do you think is the toughest woman in MMA right now? Why?"
Catch 22, LOL! Naturally, I think the toughest women in MMA are the FW female fighters, but is only because I pay more attention to the women in my weight class than others.

(Q) A lot of people have contacted me about your skincare routine. In fact, another fan, Rachel writes: "I am a big fan of Elaina Maxwell. I am curious Elaina, what do you do to make your skin look so luminous?"

Thank you for noticining. I drink a lot of Kangen water since I have a machine at home and in addition to that, I don't spend much time in the sun. If I do, I make sure to overdose on sunscreen, as you can never wear too much. Plus, I use all natural skin products by Chen Skin Health ( in NYC.

(Q) Is it possible to train without music? Another fan, Keith writes: "When you are training Elaina, what do you listen to? What is on your iPod?"
Of course it is. I will run without music sometimes, but for the most part, I listen to whatever is playing at the gym because my iPod Touch was stolen. #frownyface.

Elaina Maxwell doing extensive
pad work with her trainer.
(Q) For all of your fans reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Elaina "Beef" Maxwell?
I almost took a boxing fight, but the promoter could not find a match for me, so for now, I'm getting ready to visit Thailand in July, if funds allow me to do so. I will be fighting there, as well and would like to take a Muay Thai fight in the states before I return to MMA. My last MMA fight was in 2012 (vs. Ashley Sanchez) and since then, I have been married and moved.

I would like to thank my sponsors for taking care of me during this hiatus: Knoxx Gear, Tussle Fight Gear, CSA, Gracie Fighter, and of course, my chiropracter, Dr. Dan Russell at Main Street Chiro in Pleasanton, CA. I will be back in 2014! Get ready!
For more about MMA fighter Elaina "Beef" Maxwell, visit today!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Watching the Karate Kid and reminding myself...

...why I am so excited to be getting back into martial arts and gymnastics in 2013...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Interview with Womens MMA icon, Elaina Maxwell

Training in the heart of Dublin, California at CSA Gym under trainer Kirian Fitzgibbons, Elaina Maxwell remains to be one of the best women's MMA fighters in the world today. I discovered Elaina when I watched her face Gina Carano on Strikeforce: Triple Threat and became a fan almost instantaneously.  
With her first title win in 2002 as a Gold medalist at the Born to Fight II, her professional MMA title win in 2007 as the Golden State Light Middleweight MMA Champion to her latest win in 2012 at the Resurrection Fighting Alliance, Maxwell is making many waves in the MMA world.

Elaina discovered martial arts when she fell in love with kickboxing. As an athlete, it was a workout trend and completely worked as an off-season workout. It was then that Elaina discovered her love for contact sports, as she loved the intensity and competitive environment. While finishing her volleyball career and pursuing her educational goals at San Jose State University, Maxwell made the USH! Fight Team in 1997. Since then, her career as a martial artist took off.

To Maxwell, martial arts consists of many different elements. When I asked her what martial arts she currently trains, she told me - "I currently train MMA, but since it consists of so many different elements, I practice boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Strength Training, Conditioning, Clinch, and Running."

There is always a memorable fight. When I asked Elaina about the toughest woman she fought she told me "Sun Li of China". When I asked her why, she said "I fought her at the 2005 Wushu Sanshou World Championships in Hanoi, Vietnam in the finals. She captured the gold that night, as she won by decision. I walked away with a silver medal & from Sanshou that day. With every ending, there is a new beginning, so with that said...I discovered MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the next year. Since then, I have gone on to win titles in MMA, BJJ, and look forward to my return to the cage in early 2013."

Even the toughest women on the planet get intimidated and scared of a fight. When I asked Elaina if she has ever been intimidated or scared of a fight, she told me "Yes, but it is the fear that makes you perform."

Maxwell told me that her favorite MMA fighter is "Anderson Silva" saying "He is very humble yet very successful."

When I asked her what her favorite food was, she was not hesitant to tell me - "They call me BEEF for a reason. My absolute favorite food is steak, especially the filet." She went on to tell me - "I know red meat is hard to digest, so I eat it sparingly. Maybe once a week, along with dairy."
Is dieting during the holidays possible? I asked Elaina if she thought dieting during the holidays was possible. She told me "Yes, I believe in cheat meals." When I asked her if she followed a diet, she directed me to the "Dolce diet."

There are many women all over the world that struggle with their weight. I asked Elaina what tips she had for women who are struggling with their weight. She told me "Take one day at a time, write down what eat, weigh yourself the first thing in the morning and repeat this once a week. Believe in yourself and see yourself at your ideal weight. If you can dream it, you can achieve it!"

Outside of MMA, Elaina loves spending time with her husband. She said "My absolute favorite thing to do is spend time with my husband. He is from South Africa, so there is always something new and fun to do in the Bay Area/Northern California."

We can appreciate the past and admire it for developing us into who we are today. I asked Elaina what her plans were for the future. She said "I plan on being the new Invicta FC Featherweight Champ in 2013 and look forward to spending the rest of my days with my new husband."

Elaina would like to thank KNOXX, Tussle, CSA, Gracie Fighter, Main Street Chiro, and my family, including her twin sister and her husband for all of their continued support, both in and out of the cage.

For more information about WMMA fighter and icon Elaina Maxwell, please visit:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Martial Arts, a hobby and past time you must discover...

I love martial arts! Especially Kung Fu (Wing Chun being my favorite followed by Jeet Kun Do). Recently, I am enjoying Escrima/Kali, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Judo. I also am enjoying Boxing, as well. If you are looking to not only discover a new hobby, but also channel your emotions, as well as, inner fighter, I recommend martial arts. It is a great way to challenge yourself not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, as well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I am a "Novice" when it comes to training mitts...

I am a novice when it comes to training mitts. I am hoping these are reasonably decent though. This is for Escrima/Kali training.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Strikeforce Tate vs. Rousey: Ronda at the weigh-ins for Friday, March 2nd 2012

For her fight against Miesha "Takedown" Tate tomorrow. She looks amazing.

Photo by Leo Frincu

Congratulations to both Ronda and Miesha for making the goal weight of 134 and a half pounds. Both look amazing and I am looking forward to the fight. To see more of the weigh-ins, check out the video below...

If it doesn't load, click here. I can't wait to see this fight. Go Ronda!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Strikeforce Press Conference: Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey staredown

Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey's staredown
for their upcoming fight on
Saturday, March 3rd 2012.
(Photo by Strikeforce)

Why are they wearing jackets? This is serious business folks. They are wearing jackets. Although I have to admit, they both look really cute and I think I want Miesha's jacket. hahaha

Miesha Tate says...

"I don't care for Ronda's personality. I've fought people I haven't liked before but not to this extent. But I'm careful not to be overzealous and let tempers change my game plan. Ronda is a self-righteous person. She cares more about herself than the sport. She talked her way into a title fight. Clearly, she doesn't deserve it. She's not the No. 1 contender. She hasn't even fought at this weight before. I mean, she's 4-0 and has been moderately impressive but she hasn't faced anyone like me."

Ronda Rousey says in response to Miesha Tate...

"I wasn't looking to make friends in this sport. I just wanted to make a living so I didn't have to catch coins. But it doesn't matter if people don't like me because it's mostly current or former champs who think everyone should throw petals at their feet. Honestly, I don't care if a bunch of girls I don't know don't like me. I'm doing this to support myself and not work night shifts at the gym. I don't have respect for Miesha's inconsistency. One minute it's about the sport, the next she is wearing booty shorts on her website and it's the entertainment business."

Definitely a classy response on Ronda's part. Tune into their fight on Saturday, March 3rd 2012 on Showtime. Check your local listings for more information. For more information, visit Strikeforce's official website right now.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Most anticipated fight in Women's MMA - Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate

Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate
(Photo by Strikeforce/Showtime)
This Saturday, March the 3rd in Columbus, Ohio on Showtime, Strikeforce presents one of the most anticipated fights ever in Women's MMA, Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate. They are fighting for the Women's Bantamweight Championship (135 pounds). Miesha Tate currently owns the title.

Background on Ronda Rousey... Ronda Rousey is an American Judoka from Santa Monica, California. She currently trains with coaches Gene Lebell, Gokor Chivichyan (Team Hayastan), and Leo Frincu. Aside from being a 4th Dan Black Belt in Judo she is ranked #3 of being one of the world's greatest ever Judokas. She is an Olympic Bronze medalist in the sport.

Background on Miesha Tate... Miesha Tate is a mixed martial artist from Sacramento, California. She currently trains with the Team Alpha Male team. She has trained in Grappling (BJJ) and Wrestling. She is the #1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the 135 pound weight class on the planet. Miesha is the current Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Champion.

What are both opponents known for? Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey is known for making other women tap out in a matter of seconds due to her famous armbar submission. Miesha "Takedown" Tate is known for a variety of submissions, her latest being an arm triangle choke, which scored her "Submission of the Month" on ESPN and allowed her to win "Submission of the Year" at the MMA Awards.

Who do I think will win? Without a doubt, Ronda Rousey. Although we have yet to see her striking, her ground game is much superior. Miesha has a weakness. Several actually. One of them being that every time she goes after an opponent, she attempts to get them into a clinch and push them to the side of the cage, getting the takedown earlier. She does this with every fight, which gives an edge to Ronda who is a 4th Dan Judoka.

Judo is a superior ground fighting to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as, Sambo. Why? Because this martial art actually lead to the innovation of both styles of fighting. I think BJJ and Sambo are both incredibly effective, but not as effective as Judo. It is one of the best ground fighting martial arts ever next to actual wrestling. Definitely looking forward to watching. I do think it will be relatively more competitive than most fights we have seen lately in WMMA.

Other fights in the Tate vs. Rousey fight card include:

Josh Thomson vs. K.J. Noons
Paul Daley vs. Kazuo Misaki

Scott Smith vs. Lumumba Sayers
Ronaldo Souza vs. Bristol Marunde
Sarah Kaufman vs. Alexis Davis
Caros Fodor vs. Pat Healy
Ryan Couture vs. Conor Heun

Roger Bowling vs. Brandon Saling

The other fight that I was looking forward to is no longer going to happen. My friend Roman Mitichyan's friend Gegard Mousasi was suppose to fight Mike Kyle. Mike Kyle apparently withdrew due to injury, but I definitely had Gegard Mousasi chosen to win that particular fight simply because he is a fabulous striker, as his boxing is way above average in MMA and he is very familiar with Judo. I guess he couldn't find someone to fight in the amount of time since Mike Kyle withdrew.

I think the winner of this fight (Miesha "Takedown" Tate vs. Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey) should take on the incredible Sara McMann.

Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey is this Saturday (so mark your calendars) and starts at 8 pm EST (6 pm my time, here in Montana). Prelims start about an hour or two earlier. Check your local listings for more information.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Muay Thai trainer William Miller from Las Vegas, NV

Muay Thai expert Will Miller doing some simple bag work after the class. Will has trained, as well as, trained with some of the best fighters in the world including Stephen Bonnar and Gina Carano at the Mr. Toddys gym in Las Vegas, NV. He is also one of the few people certified to teach real Muay Thai in the US. New and interested prospects having a conversation in the background.

I am excited to start my boxing and Muay Thai training...

Can't you tell?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Strikeforce Weigh-Ins for November 17th 2011 - Ronda Rousey and Julia Budd

My friend Rob Mikitarian (who is a very good friend of Ronda's) sent me this picture via cell phone. This is the Strikeforce weigh-ins happening right now at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV. For tomorrow's WMMA 145 lb main card fight Ronda Rousey will face Julia Budd.

I think that Ronda will win. How? Possibly a rear naked choke, but I guarantee that Ronda will have the submission. I am going to watch the fight tomorrow (Friday, November 18th 2011). Strikeforce Challengers: Britt vs. Sayers airs on Showtime. Check your local cable listings for the exact time.

Good luck Ronda!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Martial Arts: A Look At The Aikido Ranking System

Aikido is a martial art that is influenced by progression and collaboration, with an emphasis on various throws and joint locks. “Ai” means join. “Ki” means energy. “Do” means way. Aikido is simply a fighting system that highlights the act of combining combats, meaning that the individual that uses the Aikido fighting system can use an array of assorted flings and joint associations to merge with his/her opponent. Aikido’s fighting system embraces the grab, the throw, the strike, the return, and the thrust techniques.

Aikido is a martial art that is has become very popular around the world, but is most popular in Japan. One thing is certain, martial arts belts are often ranked in an effort to help real martial artists not only reach their goals, but allow them to learn and expand from the level they have already mastered.

There are over five different styles of Aikido (Yoshokai, Shodokhan, Aikikai, Yoseikan, Manseikan, Tendoryu, Kobayashi, etc), however; despite this, the levels, as well as, the belt system are remain true to the origin, but different depending on the Aikido sensei (or Aikido master). It is a well known fact that not every martial art includes the level and belt system, however; Aikido is a martial art that does.

Aikido has two primary belt systems. A white belt and a black belt.

The white belt is the first belt you will receive. There are six individual degrees of white belts you must achieve before you can advance to the black belt. The beginner level starts at 6th kyu. Once you have accomplished the 6th, you can forward to the 5th, then to the 4th, next is the 3rd, followed by the 2nd, and finally to the 1st kyu. The 1st kyu represents the degree (or rank) one must pass to get to the black belt.

The black belt is the second belt you will receive. Although degrees tend to vary, most of they start with the 8th kyu and go up to the 1st kyu. Once you master the black belt, you can move onto the Hakama rank. The Hakama represents the dan grades and Shodans, which are the individuals who have mastered the Aikido martial art.

Some Aikido styles have a five belt and one tag system. The white belt, followed by the yellow belt, orange belt, green belt, blue belt, purple belt, brown belt, black tag, and black belt.

The white belt starts at the 8th kyu, rather than the 6th kyu. Instead of extending all of the way from the 5th to the 1st, the 7th kyu becomes the yellow belt. Then once you have accomplished the yellow belt, you can move onto the 6th kyu which is the orange belt. The green belt represents the 5th kyu, as the blue belt represents 4th kyu. The purple belt is the 3rd kyu. The brown belt is the 2nd kyu and once you pass the test for the brown belt, you move onto what is referred to as the black tag which is the 1st. The black belt represents the 1st Dan Grade or Shodans on the path to the Hakama.

Several other forms of Aikido embrace the stripe concept. Most of the time, these forms represent only four different colored belts, because each color represents a stripe, as a result of passing the test. The white belt is always the 7th kyu and the beginning towards training. The 6th kyu represents the yellow belt, as the 5th represents the yellow belt with a stripe. The 4th kyu represents the blue belt, as the 3rd kyu represents the blue belt with a stripe. The 2nd kyu is the brown belt, as the 1st kyu is the brown belt with the stripe. Once you pass the test, you can achieve master rank. There is no black belt.

If you attend an Aikido class in Washington DC vs. an Aikido class in Miami vs. an Aikido class in Los Angeles, you can expect a different rank, as well as, belt system. If you attend three different classes and six different Aikido seminars in Los Angeles, CA alone, you can expect that the vast majority represent an entirely different rank, as well as, belt system.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Biography: Bruce Lee

If there were an award given to the actor that moved so fast, no one could catch him, the recipient of that award would be Mr. Bruce Lee. He was so fast that his speed was considered "inhuman". On November 27, 1940 a martial arts legend was born in the heart of San Francisco, CA. Although Bruce Lee's original name was "Jun Fan" in Cantonese, he chose to use the English translation of Bruce Lee.

At only age 12, Bruce was forced to move to Hong Kong to attend an all boys school. Bruce was very educated, but he always felt as if he were meant to do something bigger than what he was doing at that time. It was quite obvious that Bruce has always been a fighter since the moment he was born, hence why he won several championships on and off throughout his life, up until this point. It wasn't until about age 14 that Bruce started a variety of martial arts training that would prepare him to be the master he was and the legend he would become.

As time proceeded and a variety of conflicts floated in Bruce's direction, he decided to make the move back to the United States where he was born. Bruce was determined as a child to become an actor one day, but was more into teaching and educating others about what he learned. He wanted to inspire people and give them a purpose for living and a reason to believe that they can have much more than what they have.

After living in San Francisco, at 19 years of age Lee decided to relocate to Seattle. At this point, Bruce was very skeptical about pursuing a career in entertainment, so he enrolled in the Philosophy program at the University of Washington. At this time, he met his wonderful wife. Lee was heavily influenced by a variety of philosophical teachings such as the Jeet Kun Do, as well as, Taoism and Buddhism. He would also construct a variety of regimes he used that would make a huge impact later on, as a result. Bruce took himself seriously, as well as, anything that became a part of him.

He decided to create a martial arts school and use his what he learned, as well as, what founded himself to help others benefit from his knowledge. After days of thinking and working, as well as, many hours of soul searching, Lee decided he wanted to become an actor and pursue that particular route. It wasn't until the 1960s era that Bruce decided to pursue acting. Although Lee acted as a child, he became internationally known as playing Kato, the limo driver and guard in The Green Hornet.

As time proceeded, he gave birth to his son Brandon in 1965 (another actor who ends up sharing a similar fate 20 years later) and to his daughter Shannon in 1969. After working over a decade as an actor, Lee was determined to find his big break and eventually found out when he was offered the role of a lifetime as Lee in Enter The Dragon. In 1971-1972 Lee began filming Enter The Dragon. Little did anyone know, this movie would become his biggest success yet.

After over 30 different movies and television sets, as well as, numerous appearances luck did not find Mr. Lee. On July 20, 1973 Lee's life came to a halt, when he mysteriously died. He was only 32 years of age. At this time, he was a success and praised in the media as someone who should be respected for bringing something new to the industry. All anyone could do was question - "Why Bruce?".

Some theorists believe that Mr. Lee was murdered by a private martial arts organization because he introduced martial arts into cinema, however; others believe it was an allergic reaction to a drug he used, to attempt to treat a headache he endured, earlier that day. Some theorists still are questioning his death and there are still many unanswered questions.

As someone who is a huge fan of Bruce Lee and possesses a collection of Bruce Lee movies, I am reluctant to state that if I had to choose my favorite Bruce Lee film, I would definitely choose "Enter The Dragon" as it was not only one of his very first American films, but his final film.

The film was created with a budge of a little over $750,000 and has managed to grow a revenue of over $30 million. After shedding many tears, for many years from Bruce's unexpected death, Lee's legend remains. Although tears have fallen and Bruce is gone, Bruce's spirit and soul lives on