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UFC Fight Night

VERBAL TAP (Episode 93) with White Belt BJJ


VERBAL TAP (Episode 93) with White Belt BJJ


[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.




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

Twitter: @VerbalTapCast

Instagram: @VerbalTapCast

Vine: @VerbalTapCast

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!


VERBAL TAP (Episode 82) with Joey Diaz

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 82) with Joey Diaz

[buzzsprout episode='190749' player='true'] Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 1.13.31 PM

Raf's Recollection | Joey Diaz is a real motherfucker.

There's an old adage that says "never meet your heroes." The saying implies that you'll only set yourself up for disappointment when you finally meet the person you admire.

In entertainment, that saying consistently true.  But not with Joey Coco Diaz.

I've always been a fan of his style of comedy and over the past year I've had the pleasure of getting to know Joey as both a stand up comic and a BJJ training partner.

On stage or on his podcast (The Church of What's Happening Now), Joey is ferocious, uncensored.  A beast.  He has this great old school energy that is severely lacking in this PC sensitive world.

Off stage, Joey is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.  The dude's selfless and has gone out of his way to do nice things for his friends on numerous occasions.  He's offered to do my talk show, he did this podcast, and he even offered to help me out with a new project that I'll be sharing with you all very soon.

On the podcast this week, we ask Joey about his training in BJJ, why MMA audiences gravitate toward his sense of humor, and get some fun stories about his time working with Robert DeNiro in the movie Grudge Match.

It's a great conversation that is truly an extension of the great vibe that Joey brings to my gym, Valley Martial Arts Center.  And I can honestly say that our gym is all the better having him there.  Our thanks to Joey D. for one of our favorite conversations.

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 1.38.18 PM

Subconscious Jiu-Jitsu

Last week, I had the chance to train over at Subconscious Jiu-Jitsu over in North Hollywood.  Friend of the podcast Brent Burniston teaches a hell of a class.

At the end of the podcast, I talk a little bit about what it was like to watch an instructor teach the counter to one of your go-to's (and love every second of it).

I was stoked to finally get to train there and I look forward to visiting Brent's academy sometime soon again!

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 67) with Scott Nelson & Jeremy Lafreniere

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 67) with Scott Nelson & Jeremy Lafreniere

[buzzsprout episode='164589' player='true']


Raf's Recollection | Without a doubt, Scott Nelson is single-handedly the best pre I've ever conducted.

In the world of entertainment, the pre (or pre interview) is typically where agents and publicists tell a producer what their clients will or will not talk about with the host.  When people ask why most talk show interviews come off so phony, it's because of this very concept.

However, when you conduct a pre-interview with Scotty, you're in for a treat.

"I'll talk about anything.  I don't have a very good filter and I'm not very PC.  Ask away and be prepared for honest answers, cuz I don't give a fuck."

So it should be no surprise when we inform you that the owner of On The Mat, Scott Nelson, really came through with a MUST-LISTEN interview this week.

On the podcast, Scotty tells us what it was like to be a last minute replacement ref on the Metamoris card, being a part of the very first instant replay in jiu-jitsu (or, as we've dubbed it, the honorary "Scotty Nelson Instant Replay"), what it was like to live and train in Brazil, his role as a mentor to new businesses (both inside and out of BJJ), and even at some point offered to make a Verbal Tap gi(?).

I'm sorry, I needed to stop for a second.  My heart kinda stopped at the very concept of a Verbal Tap gi.


And when Scotty says he isn't afraid to provide honest responses, he truly means it—as he gives us some very direct answers about the problems with modern jiu-jitsu and weighs in on the very controversial issue of producing hemp gi's.

Of course, there are few people better equipped to talk about the trouble of creating and maintaining a brand than Scott Nelson.  As a business owner who's seen his own share of highs and lows, Scott doesn't mince words when it comes to crisis communication.  He's been there, he's lived it, and he knows what it's like to be the center of attention when something goes awry.

But what I've always like about Scott can be summed up in the following example: Right before Metamoris 3, Scotty could be seen greeting friends and fans alike.  About ten minutes before the show, Scotty walked around the perimeter of the waiting area distributing a set of On The Mat sponsored flyers around the tables.

My first thought was: "Couldn't he just get someone to do that for him?"  While I was slightly perplexed at first (as I'm pretty sure Scotty could easily get someone else to drop the flyers off for him), it later all made perfect sense.  This is a guy who not only understands the value of making yourself accountable to consumers, but who also takes great pleasure in meeting new people and staying connected with the community he loves.

Perhaps that small follow through is just one of the reasons his business continues to flourish?

Jeremy Lafreniere

Jeremy Lafreniere

According to everyone, ever, running a gym is tough.

It certainly helps, however, when you've got a strong acumen for business, a nice personality to get along with customers, and you get your start teaching MMA classes in an elementary school room filled with art supplies.

Yep, you read that right.

Capital MMA and Elite Fitness owner Jeremy Lafreniere tells us how he was able to take his Elementary School teaching degree and parlay that into a journey that took him from teaching friends martial arts in an elementary school classroom to the owner of an MMA school that has branched out to four other locations.

It's a great story that demonstrates how a passion for jiu-jitsu, patience, and some encouragement from Royce can do for you.

Oh, yeah, sorry.  That's Royce Gracie who strongly suggested Jeremy open up an academy.  No big.

And in my favorite part of the interview, Jeremy tells us a great story about watching one of his former students asked to open up a school under the Capital MMA and Elite Fitness banner.

If you've ever remotely wondered what the experience of opening up your own gym might be like, you'd definitely want to hear Jeremy provide his insight.  And if you're in the Alexandria, Virgina area, do yourself a favor and hit up his academy!

Kevin Taps Out

But Wait, There's More

We discovered this week that Kev still harbors some resentment the photo right here.

He spent the early part of the podcast calling this maneuver (many of you enlightened individuals would know as a sharpshooter) "illegal."

What part of this completely legit BJJ move is "illegal," I ask you?

Nonetheless, we take the conversation as an opportunity for me to educate Kevin about why the Undertaker's 21-1 streak at Wrestlemania is such a big deal.

photo-310x204And why I can't stop laughing at this guy.

That's all we got for this week.

Be sure to follow us on:

Twitter: @VerbalTapCast

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 65) with Clark Gracie

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 65) with Clark Gracie


[buzzsprout episode='160987' player='true']

clarkoplataRaf's Recollection | Coming Soon, more on our exclusive interview with Clark Gracie.

Plus, we chat about last weekend's UFC Fight Night from Brazil, discuss our Metamoris 3 predictions, and then I talk a little bit about my recent engagement (because Kevin can't stop bringing it up).

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VERBAL TAP (Episode 43) with Jessamyn Duke and Chris Holdsworth

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Raf's Recollection | Sometimes the UFC hype machine jumps the gun and overuses the phrase "must see" fight.

We get it, promoting fights is a tough business. And when you promote hundreds of fights a year, you sometimes run out of ways to get people to tune in, sometimes saying the same things over and over again.

For example, fans of The Ultimate Fighter are no strangers to the phrase "you won't want to miss the _______ fight of the season."

Most intense.  Craziest.  Most controversial.  You name the cliche, they've done it.  Thousands of times.

74216_637149146309687_1633711405_nHowever, in the case of Jessamyn Duke and Raquel Pennington, you had a fight that was truly worthy of the UFC hype machine.  And we here at Verbal Tap were lucky enough to get Jessamyn to drop by the podcast to talk about the instant classic fight between her and Raquel.  But that's not all, Jessamyn shares some inside scoops about The Ultimate Fighter house, discusses if she has any regrets missing out on the pre-fight pool party, and listens in on the 1 Minute Review of her episode (letting us know exactly what she thinks of my impression of her).

The Ultimate Fighter Portraits - 2013Moments later, we backtrack and do the episode of The Ultimate Fighter (Episode 5) that Kev pathetically tried to review on the last podcast.  BJJ black belt and TUF cast member Chris Holdsworth drops in to listen to the second 1 Minute Review, describe his fight against Chris Beal, and even takes a moment to critique the season premiere of The Walking Dead(?).  And while you're listening to the podcast, do us a solid and check out the great stuff Holdsworth has over at his personal website (otherwise he's going to beat me up a whole bunch).  The dude is very funny and has already promised to start putting up some awesome videos on his page (we've got some solid BJJ-themed video short ideas if you're up for 'em Holdsworth).

But What About Phil Harris?

UFC 142: Palhares v MassenzioCalm down.  It wouldn't be a true MMA podcast if we didn't cover the controversy surrounding Rousimar Palhares and the "screaming tap" heard all around the world.  Our resident go-to BJJ Expert, BJJ Breakdown's JOHN EVANS, drops by to weigh in on the controversy and tries to explain what the hell happened when when Toquinho caught Mike Pierce in a nasty looking heel hook.

I Trained at Some Guy Named Marcelo Garcia's Academy


In our shout outs, I describe my training session over at Marcelo's in New York.  I can't say enough good things about the wonderful people over at Marcelo's and the patience they displayed in teaching me techniques that were far beyond my capabilities.  As a complete stranger, they truly treated me like one of their own and were committed to making sure I got the most out of my experience.  I just want to say "thank you" to all of them for being so cool.

It was a nice in a lifetime experience and I truly hope I can return back there some day when I'm somewhat less terrible at jiu-jitsu.

"The Goose"

IMAG1667While we crack wise about the gi I received from BJJHQ in the video above, I can't thank the good people over there enough for sending me the "The Goose" here after hearing me talk about the crack-like addiction I have to purchasing stuff from their website (it's taking in my being not to buy every thing going up on the rolling deals sale right now).  For the last year and a half, I've been rolling with the same (boring) white, judo gi.  And while I love this stupid gi, every time I train, I have to race home to immediately put it in the wash so that I can train again the next day.  And now, I am happy to report that I can now alternate gis and (finally) walk into my jiu-jitsu classes like one of the cool kids with this awesome looking gi.  Serious props to them and Kev and I are going to be filming a video in the near future to show our appreciation.

All I got for now.  Give the podcast a listen folks.  I don't think you'll be disappointed!!!