The Ultimate Fighter Episode 3 Verdict

It was good to see Junior reign in Lew Polley when he started getting too big for his britches and over-training the guys.  It seemed as though Lew truly meant well, so I guess I don’t fault him for his behavior.  I thought Brock was pretty logical when Len Bentley brought up his suspicions about Chris Cope, and he told him not to worry about it.  I’m glad to see Brock didn’t get allow Len to get sucked into the drama.  A particularly humorous moment was when Brock mentioned that his private life comes first, and then just walked off camera.  The fight with Len and Ryan McGillivray was pretty good in my opinion, and I wouldn’t have been upset to see a third round.  I thought the first round was dead even and I could have seen an argument for the second round to be scored even too.  In the end, Ryan was given the nod, which will most likely piss off Brock next week (especially since he was Brock’s #1 pick).  All in all, not a bad week.

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The Ultimate Fighter Episode 2 Verdict

First off, Keon Caldwell is stupid for letting this opportunity pass him by. Whether he thought he was out of his league (his coaches didn’t appear to think so) or if he truly missed his daughter after being away from her for less than a week is unknown, but he made the biggest mistake of his life by quitting the show without ever even getting in the cage. Stupid. As far as the fight goes, I think both Javier Torres and Chris Cope looked O.K., but neither guy made me feel like they have a chance at winning the show. Perhaps more time to prepare for each other would have yielded different results, but both looked like mediocre strikers without much of a ground game. Perhaps the guy who sabotaged that fight the worst for Team Dos Santos was Lew Polley, who acted like he knew Cope inside and out. Well, if Lew’s allowed to prepare guys for future matchups with the same cavalier attitude, I think Junior might need to take a more active role in their coaching. I know Lew can’t know all and see all, but he pumped up Torres for this fight with his “expertise” on Chris Cope, and I think made Torres take Cope lightly. Too bad, because Torres could have won with a better gameplan.

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The Ultimate Fighter Episode 1 Verdict

Shamar Bailey is obviously a good wrestler, but he’s a boring fighter. The last time I saw someone couple that much top control with such little offense was when I watched a Jon Fitch fight. The fact that Bailey claimed he didn’t want to finish Asrih because he didn’t want to show his entire skill set is disingenuous given he also lost out on a bonus by not finishing the fight. Nordin Asrih was exposed as a typical striker (and typical European fighter) who lacks takedown defense or much of a ground game. In the end, one was boring and the other wasn’t very good; I’ll let you decide which is which.

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Dive In.

We talked last week about buying on a budget.  Although our intention was to focus mainly on gear itself, we did touch on other expenses of the practice.  Someone interested in learning martial arts would be pretty hard pressed to teach it to themselves and no one can merely wake up one morning and have magically mastered the art.  Many would say that you never truly master it, but that you’re continually a student to it – always learning, growing, and bettering in your own way.  It takes time.  It takes practice.  It takes commitment to a program, a routine, a lifestyle.  And logistically, it takes a few visits to your local dojo every week.  But what if you’re not exactly comfortable at the local place?  Or what if you caught the BJJ bug, but the nearest studio is an hour away?  You’ve got to find the right dojo for you.

Although the number of ‘home studios’ is constantly growing, thanks to the increasing number of at home workout DVD’s and YouTube guru videos, most agree that you can’t do better than the discipline, brother (and sister) hood, guidance, and encouragement you would find on the mat.  Before you do, we suggest you do some research.  Do you know that there are over 250 different systems of martial arts and that some of these systems are further broken down into several forms?  Once you’ve gotten an idea of what form(s) of martial arts you’re interested in practicing, visit the dojos in your area.  Like many traditional gyms, most offer a guest pass for a certain period of time so that you can try them out before committing to a membership.  If you can’t find one that offers classes in your chosen practice, try to find one with a moderate commute that you’d be willing to take.  Maybe down the road sometime, you might have the opportunity to be involved in growing that specific school of practice to your city.  The possibilities are endless.  Lastly, get others involved with you.  You don’t need us to pull out all the statistics that show people stay more committed with someone else there with them.  The most important thing is just that – getting involved.  We love this art.  And we want to see others love it too.  So if you’re interested, dive in.

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Draws are Amongst Us

UFC 127 saw the second UFC main event go to a draw this year.  Is this a growing trend of things to come?  Are the fighters actually getting so good and so evenly matched that they might have to sometimes settle for merely “tying” on the score cards?  I highly doubt it. 

The truth is that draws have been happening since the beginning of modern MMA, but up until the Frankie Edgard/Gray Maynard fight they weren’t very fashionable and were usually scored as split decisions.  These split decisions normally robbed a deserving fighter and awarded a less-deserving.  If the decision was deemed terrible enough, a rematch was booked.  Now, the same thing can happen but without actually giving out unnecessary wins/losses.  I’d say its good business when applied correctly. 

I don’t know what training was conducted or what happened to the judges that has caused this shift in their scoring, but it seems to work for the better.

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Spirit of a Warrior, Budget of a Busboy.

For this week, we’re going to talk about buying gear on a budget.  We’d like to start by saying that martial arts is NOT an inexpensive habit.  In fact, it’s not a habit at all.  Is it fun?  Absolutely.  Is it a great way to stay in shape?  By all means.  But if you’re not sure how well you would be able to commit to it, you might want to consider if you’re ready to jump yet.  Although it isn’t cheap to practice, there are a few tips we’d love to share with to help you get your start.

Within the family of martial arts there are many individual disciplines with many different levels of involvement.  That being said, you aren’t going to necessarily need some of the advanced equipment used my master martial arts practitioners right away.  However, the first thing you need to do before running out and buying anything is to figure out what you want to practice & where you want to do it.  Joining a gym, dojo, or studio does cost on its own, but it also comes with perks.  Membership can cost you $50 to $250 a month or a yearly fee at a reduced cost.  Many times, once you’re a member you might have the free or rented use of some equipment, until you’re able to buy on your own.

Basic equipment you would be responsible for would consist of a uniform, a good pair of no-slip shoes (if required by your discipline), and protective gear. You can also find equipment substitutions – for instance, the difference between a Judo Gi and a Jiu Jitsu Gi would not be noticeable to a beginner, but a Judo Gi is generally quite a bit cheaper.  Ask your instructor if there are other ways to save – you might be surprised.  As you progress in your classes, you can work up to buying more extensive equipment.  If membership and basic equipment cost is still too much for you at first, save for it.  If ‘buying on a budget’ for you means that you might have to wait a month or two before you can begin classes, then it will be worth it.  Watch your spending in other areas & make the sacrifices and it will pay off.

As we said last week, one of the main factors in starting Annihilation was to make quality equipment more available and at a better value to people like us.  We stand by that claim and hope you’ll come to us for even your most basic equipment needs.

Did you find this article helpful?   Have any tips or tricks of your own for buying on a budget?

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Today’s Thought to Ponder

Does it seem suspicious to anyone else that the next round of Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix bouts still lack a venue? Or that Scott Coker has mentioned they could happen in Japan where the fighters wouldn’t be subjected to drug testing? Seems pretty convenient considering one participant is a known, repeated steroid abuser and another has a rather questionable physique.  Is it possible that with Fedor out of the tournament that Scott Coker now realizes he’s placed faith in someone like Josh Barnett, whose previous steroid use killed Affliction MMA, and Alistair Overeem, who appears to be on the Barry Bonds workout routine?

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Who we are. Where we’re from. How we fight.

In 2009, we made the decision to start a company.  Essentially, we were its best customers.  We were both fighters.  We had worked together before in software engineering, but decided to come together in this independent project to bring higher quality equipment at a better value to customers just like us.

Sarah Tonjes had always been interested in boxing, but was never able to try until adulthood.  Once she finally got the taste, she was hooked.  Boxing and kickboxing classes eventually led to grappling which led to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai.  For her, being a strong woman who can be an even stronger fighter is a big deal.  After she started practicing, she quickly noticed the lack of legitimate gear for women.  It’s easy to find form fitting fan apparel that is mostly meant to further sexualize women that are generally involved in this sport.  Most women who are in it for the fight, however, find it simply trivializes what they do.  Sarah wanted to start this company to open up the availability for herself and for other women like her to better themselves in the practice and sport that has so fundamentally affected who they are.

Clayton Auzenne, Jr. started testing the waters of martial arts only a few years ago.  To say the ancient practice has changed him deeply would, by far, be an immense understatement.  It has changed how he thinks, believes, walks, lives, loves, and breathes.  It has helped him to find a more accurately authentic version of himself than he ever thought he was in any other stage of his past life.  For Clay, finding gear that fit him well was never a problem.  However, finding gear that he felt matched quality for value quickly became one.

So, we are you.  We are fighters who have been where you’ve been.  We believe in this art and we believe in making it more widely available to people who feel that way too.  And this is how we fight.  In the very essence of our sport, we are Annihilation Gear and we are here to help you annihilate the competition.

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Welcome!

First off, let me welcome you to the new Annihilation Gear blog.  We will be blogging about our company, latest product offerings, training, and MMA and Martial Arts in general.  We’ll have guest bloggers write about various topics including UFC fight reviews and predictions, gear reviews, and general MMA news.  Writers from our staff will also discuss everything from the latest products available to industry news to training.

We’re always interested in hearing from our customers and MMA and Martial Arts fans and practitioners about any topic, so please comment on our posts, ask questions, and submit and ideas you have.  We love to hear from you, even if its just to ask a quick question.  Let us know what topics are of interest to you, and what you want to know more about!

We hope you’ll find our posts insightful and interesting, and that you’ll return regularly for updates and information.

Until next time…

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