Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Madness called Cricket !!!

Today India will witness a complete shutdown , no its not a government holiday , no ! no-one has died , no ! its not a religious festival , its another India vs Pakistan cricket one day match , damnit ! everyone at my home is watching too and even when I went over to the gym , its empty ! even tayde loves cricket !

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Strength Training for MMA video series by "Big" Jitendra Khare

Evolution MMA Mumbai presents Strength training for MMA with "Big" Jitendra Khare , the strength and conditioning coach of the mma fighters of the tigers international fight team. In this series Jitendra explains the importance of weight training for mma fighters and demonstrates its practical applications in specific moves and techniques of the mma fight game. Keep checking back for this series on youtube , click here to directly so to the evolution mma youtube channel. Videos will be added and updated every week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy birthday to my brother

Happy birthday Vicky ! May you submit [sit on] many many more sceptics this year

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Funny Posters in India Part 1

Ok So im driving down sv road in goregaon , mumbai and vicky needs to stop and re-fuel the car , just outside the petrol station is this poster of an adventure camp which has all the activities listed , one of which are ... yes your eyes didnt deceive you "Raping" ... they say "slip of the tongue no fault of the mind" but what say ye to this ? "slip of the pen" ???
2 years ago i travel with Dangal Singh to fight in Calicut , we stop outside this mall and see this poster of a restaurant or somethin ... something doesnt look right in the poster , too humiliating to the chicken community lol

Friday, March 18, 2011

The BJJ-India Connection part 6 : Think again

Mirza Bashir Ahmad visited us from the US in march 2009 , although he visited us to train in mma , he was also a good training partner for Alan. They both exchanged knowledge on their grappling skills.
Raghav Rao during his first visit to nasik at the old tigers gym training facility.

Christian Graugart , bjj brown belt from denmark watching over and correcting positions while Alan and Vicky roll.

Vicky , helping the beginners understand the basics of the ground game at the Evolution MMA Mumbai gym.

Its easy for anyone to take us at our face value and say "Oh bjj is at a very low level in India" or "yeah mma exists in India but its at the very grassroot level" , I would think quite the contrary my friends. If you would compare us to the other countries all of who have BJJ black belts stationed and working on a long term basis with them I think we have been doing pretty well. yes we do have access to high level grappling instructors at regular intervals but even though we dont have our own dedicated inhouse bjj black belt what we do have is a very dedicated and ever learning team of grapplers lead by Alan Fenandes. Our mission is to strive for excellence and perfection and with our entire team of ex-judokas and ex-wrestlers there to support us Im sure we will get there pretty soon. All said and done - if you have an experience in teaching bjj / grappling for mma and are interested to come over to our gyms and work with us for a while we can definately help get you a place to stay and good food to eat. If you believe in us and want to work with us on a long term basis for bjj in India send me an email on and we will talk. Hope you all enjoyed reading the BJJ-India Connection article.[to be continued for a long long time lol]

The BJJ-India Connection part 5 : Travelling / Training abroad

Picture : Alan receives his bjj blue belt from Carlos Santos in Abudhabi UAE , Carlos was originally from the brazilian top team and presently heads the bjj program in Abudhabi.
Picture : Alan regards a significant change / improvement in his bjj when he travelled to ubon thailand to train at the prestigious legacy gym. Alan trained alongside K1 max japan star Ole Laursen , Art of War star Malik Maylayi , Kazuto Senga and UFC fighter Per Eklund during his one month stay at Legacy.

Continuing our pursuit of the mma dream we have regularly sent our fighters abroad to train bjj / mma. Alan received his blue belt when he travelled to Abudhabi and has continued to improve his grappling skills everytime he travels to train abroad. Alan is the head of the bjj / grappling division at tigers gym and evolution mma and continues to both train himself and also help prepare the local fighters to perfect their grappling.[Continued in part 6]

The BJJ-India Connection part 4

Picture : Matteo Biscottini of Italy [bjj/pankration instructor] was the first to visit tigers gym and teach our team the basics of bjj and grappling for mma.
Martin Hensch from California USA visited us in 2008 and shared valuable knowlede on yoga and its importance in bjj and grappling , martin helped prepare alan before his no-gi bjj tournament in abudhabi.
Oron Ben Simon a Royce Gracie certified bjj blue belt from Israel has been regularly visiting us over the last couple of years , Ben has a very agressive style of grappling and i always end up getting injured when he rolls with

Pedro Schmall , a royler gracie black belt from brazil was the first authentic bjj black belt to visit and teach in India. Pedro is an excellent instructor and helped prepare some of our fighters before the Martial Combat Singapore shows.

Raghav Rao , a senior blue belt bjj from the prestigious eddie bravos 10th planet jiu-jitsu also regularly visits us to update the fighters / students on their bjj training.

Overseas BJJ instructors who visited Tigers Gym / Evolution MMA : Soonafter our website was online and people started reading about us on sherdog , bjjasia and a few other website I started getting emails from so many people in the bjj / grappling community. Some we brutally critical about my work and some even told me that i should step down and allow someone else to take on the responsibility of promoting mma / bjj in India. And then there those emails from to-be friends who wanted to come over to India and work with our students / fighters to help them understand more about bjj. Here are some of those important people who have a special place in our hearts. People who have understand us and our vision and continue to be part of our MMA / BJJ India team. Cheers guys ! [Continued in part 5]

The BJJ India Connection part 3

Competing in BJJ tournaments without even knowing bjj tournament rules : Between 2007 and 2009 our team started competing in bjj tournaments in the region and the funny thing is that we even managed to secure a few medals without actually even knowing the bjj rules of the tournaments. All in all we managed to secure a few bronze medals and even one gold in the beginners category. Our boys competed in both gi and no-gi grappling tournaments in Abudhabi UAE. It was a good learning experience for our team and all of those wrestling moves and of course the bjj videos definately came handy.The photo above features alan at the no-gi bjj event in 2009 and the one below is alan competing at the bjj gi tournament in 2007. The team continues to participate at local bjj tournaments. (Continued in part 4)

The BJJ-India Connection part 2

My first BJJ session : In 2003-4 I visited the UK a few times during which i got to train with some of worlds top instructors. One of those visits took me to Rotherham where I attended my first ever bjj/grappling class under Master Cris janson-piers , Master Cris worked with WAKO UK and was also part of the UK jiu-jitsu team. It was during that time that I actually learnt some of the basics of bjj and understood how important it was to blend the grappling and striking training while teaching mma fundamentals to the students in India. Continued in part 3

The BJJ-India Connection part 1

We we began promoting mma in the year 2000 it all started with our own experiments on the mat , we had absolutely no idea how to apply any chokehold or submission properly , all we had access to was hundreds and hundreds of bjj and mma dvds , everytime i visited a foreign country i made it a point to pickup dvds and more dvds. In those days all we did was watch the dvds and experiement. There was this old kusthi akhara in bhagur [at the outskirts of devlali , nasik] and a friend of my fathers offered the facility for us to train with our team. A few weeks later and the local kusthi wrestlers found us doing something they thought was "wrong wrestling" and offered to show us the correct moves , when we told them that this wasnt regular wrestling they started to gather together and watch us do our own version of submission wrestling, soon the 'watching' changed to "jeers" and after a couple of weeks we had a whole group of the local wrestlers sitting around laughing and watching our "funny" wrestling sessions until one evening when i invited some of the ring-leaders to come join us in a grappling session , so the toughest looking guy with bulging muscles and cauliflower ears stepped onto the mat while his fellow wrestlers cheered him on , a crowd gathered around to see what would happen , my adopted brother alan fenandes who had watched a few bjj videos and knew just about one gullotine and maybe half an arm-bar took on the challenge , as expected the wrestler charged in and took alan to the ground but to his surprise got caught with an arm-in gullotine , wrestlers usually pop their head out naturally when they rush in for the takedown but rather than tapping [since they didnt know how to tap] the wrestler went to sleep when alan tightened the choke , after a few minutes of reviving the wrestler and a couple of words exchanged between both groups the wrestlers figured out that this style of wrestling was definately effective and worth trying out , this is how our journey with bjj began. After this we temporarily had a group of the local wrestlers training with us , I would say that those days definately benefited our team since grappling with those wrestlers helped us understand the fundamentals of wrestling and how important it was for our mma game , some of them got hooked and and joined the team - bharat "beast" khandare is one of those wrestlers , while the others returned to their age old tradition of kusthi wrestling and kusthi dangals. Unfortunately i heard later on that the owner of the wrestling facility wasnt too keen on his boys shifting over to bjj or mma and gave his boys a taking to , sad but true otherwise im sure many of those wrestlers could have become prospective grapplers representing India. Picture above : two of the wrestlers that began training with us but later left to pursue their kusthi career.[contd in part 2]

Another BJJ instructor visits India

Over the last few weeks we have been super busy both at the Nasik and the Mumbai gyms , last week however was particularly special. Christian Graugart a bjj brown belt from Denmark stopped over at our gyms to share some valuable knowledge with our students and fighters. Everyone had a great time learning with Christian and after intently observing his teaching style its important to mention that Christians style of teaching stressed so much on the fundamentals and the missing links in our grappling. His classes and sessions broke down every simple move and pass in such a way that it was literally as if we got to watch that technique under a microscope.Over the past few months everyone at the mumbai gym were highly pissed of at both Alan and myself as we stressed on perfecting basics and fundamentals and spending hours on each specific technique rather than rushing to learn new technques. Christian made our work a lot easier by stressing
on the very same thing as he put the guys through almost 3 hours of gruelling drills involving simple fundamentals. One session I especially enjoyed was the wrestling for mma class at the nasik centre , the specific correction of posture that he addressed with the fighters was superb. Christian was kind enough to be patient with all the questions and doubts thrown at him during every class , he worked with the students and fighters for basic drills , he worked separately with Vicky to help put the prospective blue belts through preparation of the new drills and he worked with Alan to help improve his bjj for mma and encouraged Alan to make a comeback this year. I of course was forced to sit with the video camera throughout every session as everyone selfishly never even once opted to film so i cud get to train with Christian , anyways no problem one of these days ill take some months off , head to brazil and who knows may comeback with a bjj black belt and submit all your asses together , ha ha hope you all enjoyed the training , Christian hope we made your trip memorable and thanks for all the time you shared with us , you are welcome to visit us anytime brother ! here are some links of Christians bjj globetrotting visits :
Goodbye India

Living the MMA India Dream

Hong Kong is a beautiful place but one place in HK is particularly special to me ...

The big man upstairs [and i dont mean heaven]

Three years ago a very old student of mine joined hands with me and was responsible for mma / bjj beginning in mumbai , Jitendra Khare whom we all call "Vicky sir" is a member of the core team of tigers gym , tigers mma academy and evolution mma mumbai. Vicky has also trained in judo and has been helping me prepare mma fighters especially when they are making the transition from judo or wrestling to mma. Vicky is also very well versed in strength and conditioning training and easily lifts weights that the whole team would stuggle together with , its very difficult to be his partner when he pushes weights at the upstair weight training facility at evolution mma gym. Fighters , dont miss this opportunity , sign up with vicky to put a good strength and conditioning program to your mma training , its a whole hellava difference when you throw a punch just out of years of boxing and throw the same punch after years of boxing AND some strength training. Vicky is available for group training and private training sessions at the evolution mma gym in mumbai , vicky is also available for seminars / consultancy if you want to invite him to your gym or training centre.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I stand alone with an army of friends ... we will overcome

... And miles to go before I sleep , the journey seems long and difficult with many hurdles and critics standing in my path , but I will strive to push forward and fight the good fight.

Farmer boy training mma

A few weeks ago , this farmer guy named sandeep walks into tigers mma in nasik and wants to know whats happening here , we tell him its an mma gym - he cant figure out what we're talking about , anyways our front desk guy shows him around the place and hes interested seing all the training gear and the posters of alan on the walls , can i become like him ? he asks - referring to alans poster , why not replies the front desk guy , sandeep signs up frankly not knowing what hes getting into , a few weeks later i hold the pads for him and the guy has some raw power , seriously this farmer boy has no fight experience whatsoever , not even wrestling but hes strong , pretty strong , this is the kind of raw talent that rural india posseses , here him doing beginner level pads with me , pretty awesome if you ask me , thanks again to tayde for filming the video and for permitting me to bring my cam / mobile into the training area.

40 winks in between training sessions

Training begins at 7am and some days I have to shuffle between tigers mma academy and golds gym , today began early and this is me catching a quick power nap before i take on the next session shhhhhh ..... tayde so kindly took this picture without my permission , now talk about enforcing gym rules huh !

Housekeeping Boss Tigers MMA Academy

This is Sandeep Tayde , hes the caretaker of the tigers mma academy and looks after housekeeping , but dont think lil dude is a pushover , hes a black belt in karate and started learning mma 6 years ago , hes very strict where cleanliness in the gym is concerned , he strictly enforces the gym rules posted on the entrance door and makes sure shoes arent allowed in the training centre , if he catches you with your mobile or camera in the training area he will confiscate it and God knows when he will return it to you , well all said and done this lil dude respects the training centre as his temple and its because of him that tigers mma academy is kept neat clean and tidy , if you stayover at tigers when at training , hes the guy who will make sure that lights are off at 9pm and your up and awake at 6am , remember van damme getting woken up by his thai master in kickboxer the movie ? similar scenario , thanks sandeep ! youre da man !

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Toughest SOBs in India : The Tigers team

Enjoy the video , share it with the world !

Dadar to Kandivali by local train

Travelling by local train between dadar and kandivali station to get to evolution mma gym is one crazy adventure , heres why

Alans poster on Calicut beach ! Alan youre a star !

Was driving thru calicut beach and stopped to click this poster ... pretty cool !

Odomos ka jawab nahin !

Somehow the nationwide mosquito community have a very good communication infrastructure where im concerned , everywhere i go i seem to be swarmed by mossies , while in calicut the first night they were so many in my hotel room that i was actually being picked up and carried around in celebration by tons of them , thus i stepped out in the middle of the night and got my lifesaver , odomos where would i be without you ! a note to the odomos company : you dont need to pay me for this incase you think this is an advertisment , im doin this in gratitude ... lol

Subway train at Hong Kong

If youre ever visiting hong kong , make sure you take the subway train to get around its really convenient and cheap , the taxis are crazy expensive and they are quite like the mumbai taxi drivers : if they figure out your from outta town [which isnt too difficult to notice] youre gonna get taken for a ride and end up payin thru ur nose , the train is fun too !

Saturday afternoon lunch after training at Evolution

Mexican tortilla chicken soup , italian style roast chicken , bread , washed down with a red bull , perfecto !!!

My handiwork !

Ok so usually i always have an expert to wrap the fighters hands , sometimes the promoter arranges this or we request a local gym to have their guy get the job done , we didnt have either in hong kong so i had to end up wrapping abhijeets hands myself , pretty good job huh ?

KFC meal while in hong kong

Im usually not too much of a KFC fan , but this value meal i had while in hong kong was pretty interesting

Abhijeets new shoes

While in hong kong , abhijeet picked up a pair of new shoes , actually i forced him to coz his old pair was dated back to the days of the indo-pak war lol , anyways he buys these shoes and im goin like wtf !!! he seemed to like them , of course they were expensive and branded but .... ? is it just me or are those too bright !

Haircut and Shave

Just finished a very hectic week , after gym wars 8 and then the bjj seminar with the danish globetrotter , damn ! all this work and now its time to get some grooming done , here are some before and after pictures , and yeah vicky no wise-ass comments from you on this one !