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First and foremost I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. I have
no problem saying that my family and I go to church and that we are
faithful Christians and that we aren’t perfect by any means, but
certainly strive to be Christ-like. I hope that doesn’t offend
anyone that I mention that, but I’m not ashamed of the Gospel of
Christ. And Easter, not Christmas, is the grandest celebration and
memorial that we have in the church… Clearly.
So with that being said, I certainly hope you had a wonderful
Easter, Traci, Rufus, Lil’ Rhadi (my 7 week old daughter) and
myself certainly did.
For those of you who do not know, my Birthday was on the 3rd of
April, my son’s birthday is on the 5th (today) and my wife’s
birthday is on the 8th. I didn’t celebrate my birthday. Rufus had
his party on my Birthday at the Bowling Alley. He had a wonderful
time and it was good watching him enjoy himself.
The Ultimate Fighter
For those of you that do not know, I attended The Ultimate Fighter
tryout in Charlotte, North Carolina and had a wonderful time
meeting all of the people in attendance.
The tryout went well, or at least I thought it did. Here’s how it
After the 205lbers registered they called us in a room, 20 at a
time. Before going in the room I was able to say hello to Joe Silva
and one of the media persons came up to me and had me and Dana
White take a picture. It was cool to be recognized and my me feel
like my work in the industry and in sport has been noticed.
After entering into the room. We warmed up and then were told that
we would grapple for about 2-3 minutes.
Dana White’s instructions were the following:
“Look guys, we are just going to have you roll for 2 to 3 minutes.
Don’t do any crazy s–t, like leg lock or heel hooks or no s–t
like that. Just roll, the same way that you all roll every day in
practice. If you catch a submission, we know that you got it, just
let it go. We just want to see you roll.”
So the instructions sounded simple enough. I watched other groups
go and the people looked like two grizzly bears going at it. Just
rumbling and tumbling. The grappling started from the knees. Not a
favorite position of mine. When I teach, I NEVER allow my students
or clients to start from their knees. It’s not a real position. I
always say, pick top or bottom and begin.
So, when my name was called. I got out there and began to grapple.
No disrespect to the guy I was grappling, but it was super easy. No
problem. I passed, passed again, passed again, went knee on belly,
the dude turtled then I went for an armbar, loss the position,
ended up in the half guard and tried a couple of wrist locks to
create some space, tried to get the underhook, nothing was
happening and I’m not a spaz, so I just
reeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllaxxxxxxxxed as any good BJJ player would
do. I let my arm hang to the side to set up the “Rhadi Sweep” (
see Lloyd Irvin’s http://www.TheRhadiSweep.com ). I got super
loose trying to set up an opportunity to explode. My opponent
stayed on the top of my and just dug his forearm into my throat.
Didn’t try to pass, didn’t try to do to much of anything.
“Want More Strength and More Power
Without Gaining An Extra Pound?”
I was okay with that, as I felt that I clearly displayed the best
and most technical BJJ out of anyone in the room of 20. So I wasn’t
disappointed. However, after my name wasn’t called, I’d be lying
if I said that I wasn’t slightly surprised and somewhat
embarrassed. I really couldn’t do anything but put a smile on my
face and walk back out into the lobby which felt like that “Hall of
I couldn’t believe that I got cut after the grappling round. I mean
if I would have gotten let go after the striking rounds, I could
have understood, but goodness gracious.
I guess from what Dana White told me is that it seemed like I was
tired. In 3 minutes? C’mon.
For those that know my rolling style, I’m super super super relaxed
and then I explode. I’m not a tight grinder like others. It’s not
my style. I don’t “force” anything. I’m a BJJ black belt. I play
efficiently and create space and capitalize off of opportunities.
That doesn’t mean that I can’t be beat or that my technique(s)
is/are infallible. It just means that I’ve been rolling long enough
to know what I’m doing.
And that’s the whole story. In the defense of the person that I
was rolling with. His movements were great when we started rolling.
We were just in that position where you really need a little more
time. I had his leg in the “lockdown” and he probably didn’t know
how to get out and wasn’t creating any space for me to sweep.
That’s just what happened.
Now, what more important is that, if you go to The Ultimate Fighter
with a resume like mine, I mean, I believe you should at least make
it past the grappling round. Let’s be honest. I don’t have to have
the greatest grappling in the world but the Olympian credential,
the 4 National Judo Championships, the Asst. Coaching position for
USA Grappling at the Grappling World Championships, the collegiate
wrestling background, the 2005 Abu Dhabi appearance and triple
overtime match with Jeff Monson, the black belt from Ricardo
Liborio and the brown belt from Lloyd Irvin should pretty much let
the average individual know that my grappling is, at least, above
average LOL (admittedly, I’ve been submitted by a blue belt
out of Lloyd’s club this year. And it was a legit sub. I say that
to say, that nobody is unbeatable and EVERYBODY can get caught).
All I’m saying is that, getting cut in the first round after the
grappling is like cutting a Greco Roman or Freestyle Olympic
Wrestler in the first round of grappling. In my honest
professional opinion, it was silly to think that I would be tired
after 3 minutes of grappling. You can look at me and clearly see
that I in decent shape. I guess I didn’t have what they were
looking for and were probably looking for people to spaz out and go
crazy for 3 minutes. But that’s not BJJ. BJJ is controlled,
methodical and a scientific approach to positioning, submissions
and immobilizations….. in my humble opinion.
What’s next is…. keep training. Keep getting better and keep
improving on my striking. Mixed Martial Arts is a different animal.
There are a lot of different things to train for and its tough to
get everything in during the week and manage the volume of
training. I’ve done it for other people, but its a little difficult
to do for myself. Especially when I still have to maintain my
current work output. I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be
able to do this. I actually lose money training for Mixed Martial
Arts. I’m not “all about the money” but those damn mortgage
companies and lenders want to get paid, imagine that? LOL So I have
to get paid too.
So in harmony with that. Please do me a favor and help a struggling
athlete keep training >>> http://www.MaximumDumbbellTraining.com
Take care and thanks for your time and indulgence.
Rhadi Ferguson, Ph.D., CSCS
4-Time National Judo Champion (USA)
Head National Coach – Bahamian Judo Federation
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