CTS / Martial Arts / St. Charles MMA / Team Kali

Celebration, Tournament, and More!

This weekend was jam packed full of martial arts goodness for me. STL Counterpoint and Team Kali had our 2015 year end celebration this past Friday night, and I went to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in-house tournament at St. Charles Mixed Martial Arts on Saturday. A weekend full of martial arts is fun, but it flies by too fast. I also added a new video to the STL Counterpoint YouTube page.

Photo by Kathy DiCarlo

Friday, 1/29/2016, STL Counterpoint and Team Kali gathered for the traditional year end celebration. Due to illness and schedule conflicts, the year end event morphed into a 2016 kickoff! Steve and I wanted the group to recognize the accomplishments made during 2015. Steve awarded promotions to the Team Kali members. All in all, the event was a success, and it energized us for training in 2016.

St. Charles MMA had an in-house BJJ tournament this weekend, and I went to support my friends competing. This tournament featured only gi matches for members of Team Vaghi, and I was unsure of what to expect. Whenever I see gi matches on YouTube, I’m typically bored. There are moments of actions with a lot of aggressive snuggling. But I like the guys at SCMMA and want to support their efforts. I’m glad to say that I was entertained while I was there. Most of the matches were action packed. There were some mis-matches of skill level, which can’t be helped, but, overall, the competitors were evenly balanced. BJJ is a solitary sport, and while teams are prevalent, I wanted to see how teams actually support each other in difficult times. In training and in competition, it’s obvious how a team is required for preparation, but what happens when it’s teammate versus teammate? The intensity was higher than normal rolling, but it was also obvious that everyone was trying to improve. Points were given by the referee, and while I still don’t understand it totally, I have a better appreciation for the scoring system. While points were kept, no one seemed to care. Once the timer was up, the competitors acknowledged each other, and it was time for the next match. My answer seemed to be that teammate versus teammate resulted in mutual respect with lessons learned. Competition is an opportunity for martial artists to confront themselves. You have an opponent, and at the end of the match, you either overcame that opponent or didn’t. Win or lose, you have to face a truth about yourself. What did I do right, what went wrong, how can I get better? Competition is one method to cut through ego to confront the authentic you, and on Saturday, I got to watch a nice group of people learn a lot about who they really are.

Finally, Saturday morning before training, I added the – sort of – first Martial Moment clip up to the STL Counterpoint YouTube channel. I say sort of the first because the at the end of my first Counter-Recounter episode was a Martial Moment. Part of the lessons learned from the first Counter-Recounter episode was to shorten the videos and to focus only on vlogging during that video. But I enjoyed having a little segment on martial arts tips; so, I decided to break it out into its own video. The goal for Martial Moments is to give some advice that supports your practice. There are a number of instructional videos out there like Brian Johns Bamboo Spirit or Sensei Ando’s videos that cover a broad spectrum of topics. And rather than add to the abundant choices of technique, Martial Moments will feature tips to make your training better. If you enjoy them, please, subscribe to our channel to receive the latest updates.


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