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VERBAL TAP (Episode 126) with Garry Tonon

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 126) with Garry Tonon

[buzzsprout episode='291364' player='true'] Garry and EddieRaf's Recollection | I'll give you a full write up later, but all you need to know right now is Garry Tonon returns and gives us an interview for the ages.

Let us know what you guys think of it!

 

 

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 124) with Edwin Najmi and Joey Hauss

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 124) with Edwin Najmi and Joey Hauss

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[buzzsprout episode='287661' player='true'] 10623889_658533720930913_6176385149871435034_oRaf's Recollection | We've got a lot of great guests this week (Edwin Najmi, Gabriel Arges, Joey Hauss), but I suppose the biggest question we ask ourselves in this episode is:

Am I a kleptomaniac?

More on that later.

First up, we somehow manage to keep Edwin on the ground long enough to get him to chat with us about his upcoming match at this weekend's Submission Series Pro.

For those not in the know, Edwin is famous for his flying triangles, as his name has become synonymous with the attack.  A regular staple in the world of competition, we get the chance to pick his brain about competition mindset, studying under Romulo Barral, training at the infamous Church Boys Wrestling facility, and even get to hear a little bit about his experience at this year's Copa Podio.

And if that's not enough, Edwin drops a bit of a surprise on us when he offers us a chance to talk with Gabriel Arges, another spectacular BJJ competitor who (up until last Sunday), we had yet to have the pleasure of meeting.  If you've yet to see Arges in action, just check out a few of his highlights here:

10348864_715875601788048_3003088629943003015_oAnd just because there are some last minute changes to a UFC card doesn't mean we forget about Over/Under Kevin.  This week, we bring on Joey Hauss from The LA Jiu-Jitsu Club who challenges Kevin's ability to think under pressure (and even, somehow, manages to get under the skin of a future UFC Hall of Famer, who makes his return to the podcast after a long hiatus).

Because, as we all know, something crazy is likely to happen this Saturday.  My money is on this happening.

 

Oh yeah, about that klepto thing, I tell a story this week about something I did after a seminar that I'm not proud of.  I attended a bad-ass seminar of Brian Peterson's over at the LA Jiu-JItsu Club this weekend, made a new friend, and then... Well...

Look, basically, I ask you Verbal Tap fans, if what I did wrong.  I await your judgement on our social media.

Thanks much for tuning in this week, folks!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 123) with Tom DeBlass

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 123) with Tom DeBlass

[buzzsprout episode='285758' player='true'] Raf's Recollection | This week, we meet MMA and Jiu-Jitsu bad ass Tom DeBlass.

We begin this week by addressing the Yoel-sized elephant in the room.

But first, I want to start with this: You know how much Kev and I love post-fight interviews.  They're usually conducted at a time when fighters are exhausted, out-of-breath, and may not exactly be of sound mind.

In short, they give us instant quotables to work with.  Sometimes a flash into the brains of our favorite athletes.

This week Jon Anik got deep into the mind of Yoel Romero when he merely presented him with a microphone and an opportunity to speak his mind.  This is what happened.

So it's a little difficult to figure out who or what Yoel is exactly talking about here--which is why I printed out a transcript and had Kevin do his best cold read possible.  And, by cold read, I mean Kevin had absolutely no context for any of this.  He didn't watch the fights and this was the first time he had seen or read the comments Yoel made.

It's one of my favorite moments from this week's show.

Now, that's not to say, we didn't have a little fun with Yoel's comments.

Also on the podcast, we get to know a little bit more about Tom DeBlass.  We've long been fans of DeBlass' cool jiu-jitsu style (and we're friends with a couple of his students), but this was our first chance to really pick his brain to get insight about his fighters' mindset, the types of things that motivate him in jiu-jitsu, and the competitive nature of the guys at Orange County Jiu-Jitsu (even getting to have some good-natured fun at the expense of his protege Garry Tonon and new killer-in-the-making Gordon Ryan).

It's a great look into the competitive championship mindset and one that's definitely worth your time, as DeBlass even recounts for us some of the moments from the only 15 points that have ever been scored on him during competition (yes, he knows the exact number).

Listen in folks and be sure to drop us a line of what you think!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 99) Metamoris 5 Extravaganza

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 99) Metamoris 5 Extravaganza

[buzzsprout episode='224400' player='true'] Metamoris 5Raf's Recollection | Metamoris recap shows are always my favorite episodes.

Always.

Not only do we dedicate an entire episode to breaking down the techniques, production value, and implications of the big event, but we also get a chance to catch up with some of our favorite friends (new and old), as they help us analyze these matches from every possible angle.

Following in the tradition of our previous Metamoris recaps (Metamoris 4 and Metamoris 3), we enlist a team of six to help us take a look at the card and break down each match.

Joining us this go round...

kit daleKit Dale - Leading us off on this podcast is our good pal Kit Dale.  When looking to analyze the explosive match-up between Garry Tonon and Zak Maxwell, we figured: who better to speak on the match than a guy who not only had some of the best seats in the house, but also happened to commentate on the match as it was going on (not to mention: who knows a thing or two about competing against Tonon at Metamoris).  In addition to his observations about the match, Kit also hooks us up with some great details about the behind the scenes nature of the show, reveals what Kenny Florian was too scared to do, and Kit and I discover where our jiu-jitsu venn diagrams intersect.

Ruben Avila Ruben- As one of of the more prolific BJJ writer/bloggers on the circuit, we decided to turn to the guy behind BJJGrappling.com, Ruben Avila, to help us try to make sense of the lengthy (and ultimately underwhelming) game show that was "Submit Vinny Mahalhaes for $10,000!"  More importantly, we ask if this is a format that Metamoris should continue to use in future installments going forward.  That and he gets Kevin to inadvertently support the use of WWE-esque rules in order to make a match like this more interesting (slick move, Ruben. He never even saw it coming!).

Jim LawsonJim Lawson - It only makes sense that we enlist the help of our friend Jim Lawson of The Warrior's Club to help us break down the epic rematch between two exciting BJJ warriors.  Jim makes his second appearance on the show detailing the finer points of Keenan Cornelius' and Yuri Simoes' respective games and attacks.  As the lone gi match of the card, Jim tells us how the match stacked up against the five other bouts (and even describes how the fight looked like in person at the Long Beach Convention Center that night).

Newaza

Travis Newaza - Very few people can refer to themselves as the "sweetheart" of Brazilian Jiu-JItsu and get away with it.  Yet somehow the distinction doesn't seem too far off when you get around to talking about Travis Newaza.  As one the owner of one of the coolest BJJ brands out on the circuit (Newaza Apparel) Travis has made a name for himself as a brand owner who doesn't just make clothes for the BJJ community, but who also takes a great deal of pride in being immersed in the culture of the sport.  On this podcast, Travis helps us measure the shock value of the Metamoris "secret match," it's overall impact, and even discusses the finer points of Ed O'Neil's head.

JT TorresJT Torres - In order to get the most objective account of the match-up between JT Torres and Rory MacDonald we decided to ask JT himself to take an objective look at his match against Rory MacDonald.  Just kidding.  No part of our conversation is objective in the least.  Instead, JT gives us the inside scoop on what it was like to compete against an opponent who outweighed him by close to 40+ pounds, outlines the game plan he used during the match (and describes the adjustments he had to make), and even takes a minute to respond to the comment that Rory was prepared to let his arm get broken on the Metamoris mats.

Rob Acree Rob Acree- And finally, closing out the podcast, is one of Kevin's training awesome partners from BJJ and MMA Training Center out in Chantilly, Virgina, Rob Acree.  Rob uses his black belt acumen to properly contextualize the match between Renzo Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba, navigating us through not only the historical significance of this highly-anticipated rematch, but also giving us a detailed breakdown of the techniques and strategies utilized by both Renzo and Sakuraba.  Additionally, he helps me get in some great digs at Kevin's expense, so I seriously can't complain about that.

A damn good podcast from start to finish.  Thanks to everyone who participated and helped us breakdown this monumental event.  And keep an eye out real soon for episodes of Around the Mat to start popping up all around.

And get ready guys.  Kevin touches down in LA in just a few days and we've already got big plans for our 100th episode!  Get ready folks!

If you want to send us a message on our social media, merely hastag #VerbalTapTurns100 with a twitter message, Instagram meme, video or Vine to send us a message (we might just talk about it on air)!

Oh Yeah, Check This Out

I got the chance to shoot the shit with Garry Tonon this week.  Good times were had.

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 98) with Mac Danzig

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 98) with Mac Danzig

[buzzsprout episode='222389' player='true'] MacDanzig_HeadshotRaf's Recollection | I'll never forget the time I discovered Mac Danzig and I had a mutual set of friends.  Years ago I discovered that Mac and I were only a couple degrees of separation away from each other all thanks to my best friend Bobby.

And when you're in good with my long-time best friend (and future best man at my wedding) and his family, in my book, it means you've already been vetted and that you're good people.

Before I had a podcast, or even really knew I'd take up jiu-jitsu, I was just a UFC fan who enjoyed Mac's work in the Octagon.  Perhaps it's my knowledge of how reality shows work and get spliced together, but even when I sat at home watching his time on The Ultimate Fighter I always thought he got a bum wrap on the way he was depicted. It's not entirely surprising, it's just the nature of the beast known as reality TV.

But as someone who doesn't tend to get caught up in that sort of thing (even then), I just knew I liked his fighting style and thought he had a promising future (in retrospect, I can see that I have a long history of rooting for the jiu-jitsu guys).  Naturally, I was stoked to see him go on to win the show and have a solid run in the UFC.

After years of hearing great things about him and the way he teaches from our mutual friends, I was pleasantly surprised a few months ago when I heard he was holding a Striking for Submissions seminar down here in LA.  I packed up the gym bag and made it down.

Before the seminar, I got the chance to meet and exchange pleasantries.  We talked about our mutual connections and BS-ed about a number of MMA and BJJ topics, all the while Mac lived up to all of the great qualities our mutual friends had come to say about him.

By the time we got around to the seminar and I saw him demonstrate his first BJJ transition, I realized something I had long since forgotten: Mac was one of the first people I watched and learned how to do jiu-jitsu technique from.

While I had watched a number of fights before his tenure on The Ultimate Fighter, I never really paid attention to the science of it all.  For whatever reason, his style just clicked with me and, while I may not have understood the exact reasoning behind every grip or underhook, I remember finding myself interested in the craft and wanting to learn how to break it all down.

And on this day, on these mats, there he was telling me to stop doing the technique so wrong and try to get it right for a change.

He didn't actually say that, but you're all familiar with how I roll by now.

Nonetheless, it was just a cool moment in my training journey and all the more reason his appearance on the show was so cool for me personally.

On the podcast this week, Mac (37:20) drops in to provide a little more insight about the actual production of The Ultimate Fighter, the awesome connection he has to the world of animation, his interest in photography, what its like to transition out of fighting, and even describes what it's like to be on the other side of the cage as a referee.

It's a fantastic first conversation with a guy who's been a friend of podcast long before we even had him on.  We look forward to having him back on some time soon.

In the meantime, check out his work at http://www.macdanzigphoto.net/.

As an avid photography fan, I'm not one to put over work if I don't find it really good.  But his stuff is awesome and I strong encourage you all to give it a gander.

But Wait, There's More!

Our pal, Alex Perez returns on this week's podcast to find out if he beat Kevin in our UFC 180 edition of Over/Under Kevin

In addition to finding out the results, Alex helps us recap all of the awesome (that sick main event), the disgusting (Ultimate Fighters taking a #2 in the cage), and the really disgusting (the worst PSA for Cauliflower ears ever) things that made one of the shortest UFC PPV's in recent memory a fun and unpredictable night of fights.

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Metamoris 5: The Game Show

Because no Metamoris card is complete without at least three match-up changes, we had to get creative with our latest Around the Mat preview series.  We always like to record these things a week out of the show as to try and get you a preview that's the most up-to-date possible, but when the news hit that Kevin "KO" Casey was out of his match-up (prompting the BJJ equivalent of American Idol to take place) as I was editing the latest installment of our Metamoris Preview Series, I had to do something.

This was that something.

The following is a sneak preview of our show that's coming out a little later tonight.  Hope you all enjoy it!

EDIT: And here's the entire full length episode for your viewing pleasure:

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 97) with Garry Tonon

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 97) with Garry Tonon

[buzzsprout episode='219848' player='true'] garytononRaf's Recollection | We all know Garry Tonon [46:54] as one of the most exciting grapplers on the planet.  With an aggressive style on the mats that relentlessly goes after submissions, Garry has made a huge name for himself in the world of competitive jiu-jitsu as one of the most reliable "sure bets" for an exciting match.

Even when if it means putting himself in terrible positions.  And that's just part of what makes his matches so unpredictably exciting.

The guy has a gas tank that puts a great number of us to shame (despite a number of well-documented accounts of how much fast-food the kid ingests).  But, as I came to find out last week, even interviewing Garry Tonon can be a workout.

Not because the guy is a difficult interview (our conversation is a lot of fun), but because he just has so much energy, you have to match his level of intensity during the interview.  Even in the moments we spent talking with Garry off-air, before our interview officially began, Kev and I found ourselves having a great time comparing notes and jokes.  As I overheard the rapid-fire cadence in his voice, it began to make complete sense:

Garry Tonon doesn't do anything slow.

Garry Tonon

With that in mind, I encourage you all to give a listen to a dynamic interview we do with Garry, as we touch upon all the bases: his match at Metamoris 5, what his expectations of his opponent Zak Maxwell, if his eating habits are truly as terrible as some Metamoris preview videos lead us to believe, what it's like to train with Rory MacDonald, and what he really thought of my interpretation of his BJJ game at Metamoris 5.

Yep.  This one.

It should be noted that a running joke at my gym has been how when I played Garry, my jiu-jitsu was way better than normal.  Leaps and bounds better.  So while I'd love to base my game entirely on Garry's movement, I will remind you that too is an exhausting endeavor (the guy never quits moving).

Be sure to give Garry's episode a listen and then let us know what you think!

Peace Out, JEvans

Last week, we said goodbye to our pal, John Evans who is forging ahead with his journey to open out his own jiu-jitsu school.  Mind you, he'll still be here in the Valley, but he's going to be opening up his own place for BJJ instruction very soon.

As one of the most influential people in my BJJ career, I can't thank John enough for his patience and his help with my game.  Any gains I've made over the past few years are due in part to his superb coaching abilities.

And because no goodbye is without it's hardships, allow me to post the video of the way we closed out John's experience here at VMAC.

[embed]http://instagram.com/p/vE4UiBj6r5[/embed]

Be sure to follow him on Twitter at @BJJBreakdown and look out for more updates about his school at BJJBreakdown.com.

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 95) goes to the 2014 World Jiu-Jitsu Expo

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 95) goes to the 2014 World Jiu-Jitsu Expo

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[buzzsprout episode='214622' player='true']

Raf's Recollection | Considering all of the videos and writing I have to get done this week, I'll keep this short.  We had a huge week on the podcast, previewing this weekend's UFC 179 with our pal Marcus Kowal and discussing all things World Jiu-JItsu Expo.

Marcus (pictured here in a new headshot compliments of our good friend Blanca Marisa Garcia) joins us this week to take on Kevin on our latest installment of Over/Under Kevin.

Some of you know Marcus as our pal from Systems Training Center down in Hawthorne, while others of you may somewhat recognize this guy as the host of his own podcast the MMA Roundtable.

Yep, since we last left Marcus, he has now grown up and started a podcast of his own.  So we decided to give him some well deserved shit to start the show and then get into our picks for this weekends fights.

FightersMarket016I Went to the World Jiu-JItsu Expo!

Let's just say this weekend was another mad capped weekend of insane jiu-jitsu coverage.

Accompanied by my two awesome photogs (Alex Perez and Octavio Villanueva), we hit up the World Jiu-JItsu Expo for a second year of crazy coverage.

On the podcast, Kevin spends the first twenty minutes asking me all about it and I talk a little bit about some of our favorite experiences and observations from an event that is something akin to what we call "Jiu-Jitsu Christmas."

I got to talk with this guy.

RafBraulio009And this guy.

Renato003And even catch up with this guy.

Keenan004I'm working to get out a video per day, but right now, here are two of the first videos we've edited from this weekend.

Keep an eye out on our YouTube page as we'll be posting as many videos as we can from this weekend's World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.

Hope you enjoy it, folks!

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VERBAL TAP (Episiode 94) with Vinny Magalhaes

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VERBAL TAP (Episiode 94) with Vinny Magalhaes

[buzzsprout episode='212870' player='true'] VinnyRaf's Recollection | Vinny Magalhaes {13:29) is the MMA version of a workaholic.  It seems like every time he finishes a fight or a grappling match, he's already lining up the next fight (or two).

You might even call him a fight-aholic.  It's like the guy's addicted to competing.

Lucky for us it results in some amazing fights to watch both in the cage and on the mats.

Shortly after walking us through his sick light heavyweight title win at Titan FC 30, Vinny talks to us about his next Metamoris 5 match-up against Kevin "KO" Casey (... only to work on creating a match for himself at Metamoris 6).

That's right.  A month before Metamoris 5 even happens, Vinny's already offering himself as available and ready to fight at Metamoris 6.

But that's the spirit of the fight in Vinny.  He's a goal-oriented fighter who's not just content holding MMA gold around his waist.  It seems like he's ready to fight any time, any where, any place.

Untitled-4-620x330On this week's podcast, Vinny describes his Titan FC 30 fight camp, what his training partners think of his workaholic tendencies, and even gives us some insight into the fighter psychology that takes place inside of the cage.

Then Vinny switches gears to answer some BJJ questions, including his thoughts on Keenan Cornelius' performance at Metamoris 4, what it's like to film one of those Metamoris preview videos, and even starts walking us through some of the competitors he'd like to have a rematch with.

Also, he fields a question thrown our way from Renato Laranja and then is informed about Kevin's poor attempt to recreate Vinny's match from Metamoris 4.

So Vinny, if you're watching.  Here's the video of the terrible re-creation and I will be happy to provide you with Kevin's address once you finish watching it.

EBI Dos!

AEBI 2lso on the podcast, I talk a little bit about what it was like to watch the Eddie Bravo Invitational 2 in person.

I don't want to go too much into detail (as the show has yet to be televised and we're working on a cool side project here as part of our coverage), but it was a cool experience that was a blast to attend.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank the wonderful participants (a number of whom are friends of the podcast) who did an exceptional job that evening.  And also, my thanks to Alex Perez for the fantastic work helping us with fight coverage through the night.

Are You Going to the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo?

If so, don't be afraid to stop by and say hello.  I'll be covering the event live in Long Beach all weekend and would love to run into you guys while we're there.

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And FINALLY...

Check out our latest installment of Around the Mat, where we break down the Metamoris 4 match between Dean Lister and Josh Barnett.

We love hearing what you guys have had to say about our other installments, so keep them comments and likes comin'!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 93) with White Belt BJJ

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 93) with White Belt BJJ

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[buzzsprout episode='210565' player='true'] Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 2.59.27 AMRaf's Recollection | BJJ friends, we really come through for you on this one.  This episode not only features the awesome guys from  White Belt BJJ (Todd Shaffer and Tony Peranio), but we also do some of the best investigative journalism we've ever done on this episode of the podcast.

When I saw the headline "Wrestler Challenges Jiu Jitsu Instructor at 10th Planet Decatur AL- Security Cam Footage," it didn't take long for me to realize it would likely somehow involve our pal Brandon McCaghren.

Yes.  This goofball.

Me and Brandon MemeYeah, the same guy behind this abomination of a song (and also this one that's pretty ok).

Chances are, you've likely seen the video we're talking about here.  If you haven't, take the following five minutes of your time to laugh your ass off as you watch Brandon make short work of a guy who interrupted his jiu-jitsu class and challenged him to a match (mid-way through said class, mind you).

In the time span of a week, the video has gone viral (right now hovering around the neighborhood of 500k views) and attracted the attention of just about every major BJJ publication and Facebook page (and even a few non-BJJ sites), making Brandon a bit of an overnight BJJ celebrity.

So to get to the bottom of this whole ordeal, we decided to reach out to our pal and get him to tell his side of the story.  In our EXCLUSIVE interview, Brandon walks us through the match and all of the events that lead up to the challenge.

As usual, Brandon brings his brand of whimsy to the show and we couldn't be happier to see him get so many compliments on his jiu-jitsu skills (I've rolled with the guy, the dude's BJJ is nothing short of awesome).  Give it a listen and let Brandon know what you thought on the Twitter at @Brandon_mc.

Here's hoping even more people head to his classes as participants, not mid-class challengers.

White Belt BJJ

Man, are these guys funny.

I can't tell you how many times I've scrolled through my Instagram feed and laughed out loud at the work the very funny guys from White Belt BJJ do.

Instead of talking about it, I'll just let a few of these speak for themselves.

Beat It MemeBraveheart  Ric Flair Meme  White Belt JJ InstructorWhite Belt BJJ - HannibalAnd that's just a small sample of their work.  Spend a few minutes going through their memes and you're bound to crack up more than just a few times.

What makes so many of the memes they do work so well is the ability to combine a crazy subversive sense of humor with a series of observations that are grounded in many of the frustrations so many BJJ practitioners experience in their training sessions.

I've been a real fan of the fantastic work ethic these guys have and they were a blast to talk with on the podcast.  On our show, they talk about how White Belt BJJ came into existence, what it's felt like to watch so many new BJJ meme artists come out of the woodwork, and we even find out how much Tony and Todd really know about one another.

Give it a view and go support them on all of their channels.

WhiteBeltBrazilianJiuJitsu.com

Instagram

Facebook

YouTube

But Wait, There's More

Oh and while you're checking out social media pages, be sure to add us and check out while you're at it.

Facebook: /VerbalTapCast

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And then also check out the latest installment of our BJJ talk show panel, Around the Mat.  In our latest episode, we break down the match between Saulo Ribeiro and Rodrigo "Comprido" Medeiros.  Let us know what you think about it with the hashtag #AroundTheMat!

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