Jun 182013
MMA in LaGrange, NY

Hudson Valley Martial Arts

Many martial arts schools in the Hudson Valley area of New York claim to teach techniques which are effective in high level Mixed Martial Arts promotions.  However, most of these dojos are stretching the truth and are in fact passing off illegitimate moves as authentic.  At Precision Mixed Martial Arts in the Hudson Valley we teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu submissions which are routinely used in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is the premier MMA event in the world.  In fact, many of the submissions taught at Precision were used this past weekend on Saturday, June 8th in Brazil at UFC 160.  This just goes to show that our Hudson Valley Martial Arts program is top-tier!

UFC 160 this past Saturday had a stacked card full of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experts whose mastery of the gentle art was on display.  Multiple different types of martial arts submission holds were utilized to win bouts, ranging from various different types of chokes, to armlocks to leglocks.  This was exciting to see since it proves that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is alive and well at the highest level of Mixed Martial Arts competition and especially because all of these martial arts’ techniques are currently taught at Precision Mixed Martial Arts in the Hudson Valley.  Of the twelve fights on the card, nine of them ended by way of submission, making the event all the more entertaining for us Jiu-Jitsukas at Precision.  In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu there are three main types of submission holds used to get the opponent to surrender by way of “tapping out”.  These three varieties of submissions are choke holds which cut off the blood to the brain and can render an opponent unconscious; arm locks which can hyper extend the elbow or shoulder joints, and leg locks which can disable an opponent’s knees or ankles.  We at Precision Mixed Martial Arts in the Hudson Valley teach all of these martial arts techniques, but many schools do not, or else if they do, they do not teach them properly.  Our head instructor Brian McLaughlin is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt whose lineage can be traced to the great Royce Gracie and who is himself a Mixed Martial Artist with a record of 6-2 who has used some of the same techniques on display at this past UFC, so we at Precision know that what we are teaching is legit.

On the undercard at UFC 160 one of the best submissions utilized was a knee bar which Antonio Braga Neto used to disable fellow Mixed Martial Artist Anthony Smith.  Many martial arts’ schools neglect to teach leg locks because they think they are too dangerous, but Precision in the Hudson Valley teaches them frequently and in great detail.  Another great submission used to attain victory was a rear naked choke used by Caio Maghalaes to put Karlos Vemola out of commission.  We also teach this submission at the Hudson Valley’s best martial arts gym – Precision Mixed Martial Arts and it has been used by our instructor Brian McLaughlin to win two of his Mixed Martial Arts fights.  In another exciting match up, mixed martial artist Raphael Assuncao utilized an arm lock to defeat Vaughan Lee, and this is also a martial arts’ technique which has been used by our head instructor to attain victory in MMA and which he teaches to all our students frequently.  Furthermore, Rony Mariano Bezera made use of the famous triangle choke to finish off his opponent Mike Wilkinson in only 1:24 of the first round, and this move has also been used by McLaughlin to win three of his fights and is possibly the most popular submission taught at Precision.  Daniel Sarafian used a different variety of strangle hold, known as an arm triangle choke, to put formidable fighter Eddie Mendez to sleep, and this technique was used once again later on the card by Leonardo Santos to take out his opponent William Macario.  The submission of the night award was won by Erick Silva who caught his adversary Jason High in a reverse triangle arm bar, a very unique technique not often seen in Mixed Martial Arts which is also taught at Precision Martial Arts in the Hudson Valley.  Finally, in the main event between two excellent martial artists Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum, Werdum hyper extended Nogueira’s elbow with a belly down arm lock to cap off the night.

Hudson Valley Muay Thai

Hudson Valley Martial Arts

Many people who don’t train in Hudson Valley martial arts do not realize that not all dojos or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools teach such a wide variety of submission holds, or that they work in high level MMA events like the UFC.  If you are interested in learning these effective holds, come train at Precision MMA in the Hudson Valley for 30 free days and you will soon find yourself performing these moves instead of simply watching them on TV.

Jamey Bazes is a lifelong martial artist holding a brown belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kenpo Karate.  He also holds a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz.  He is a student of Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY (in the Dutchess County) and a decorated competitor including a Delaware Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu State Championship and a NAGA World Title.  To train kickboxing with Jamey in Dutchess County NY check out Precision MMA http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com

Jun 112013

Hudson Valley Martial Arts Expert Brian McLaughlin has launched a new grappling website so that he can share his martial arts techniques with the greater jiu-jitsu world at http://www.learntograpple.com

The goal of the website is two fold – first to make jiu-jitsu techniques available to people who do not have an academy in their area thereby allowing them to learn and enjoy grappling from the comfort of their own home.

The second reason was to give Precision MMA students the chance to review techniques taught in class.  The site breaks down each technique and covers common mistakes to help the student avoid common pitfalls.

Check out this technique – one of the most effective sweeps in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a favorite amongst the Hudson Valley martial arts practitioners of Precision MMA


Like what you see and want to learn more?  If you live in the Hudson Valley and would like to train martial arts visit http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com


Apr 092013

How Precision MMA Can Prepare A Student for Martial Arts’ Competition

Various authorities on the subject have stated recently that they believe martial arts have evolved more in the past 20 years than in the past 200 years.  This may seem a bold claim, but is quite possibly true with the introduction of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993 and the vast network of information provided by the Internet.  Along with the increased awareness of styles found to be effective in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has come a vast increase in practitioners of those styles, and with this has come an increase in the number of competitions held.  This not only includes increased competition in both professional and amateur MMA, but also a greater number of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, kickboxing and Muay Thai fights, Judo competitions, andbody hardening also more interest in school wrestling programs and local boxing programs.  While almost every town has a martial arts’ dojo of some kind, most cannot provide the kind of quality instruction necessary to prepare students for these kinds of competitions.  Precision Mixed Martial Arts, located in the Hudson Valley region of New York, boasts instructors who are experts in all these disciplines, and can get students of any style in competition shape.

When a student signs up for Precision Mixed Martial Arts they may not have competition in mind at first and the idea of testing themselves may come to them at a later point in their training.  At some schools this could be a dilemma because the type and pace of the training offered may be very opposite from a tournament or fight atmosphere.  For example, let’s look first at the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as it is practiced at many schools versus how it is taught at Precision in the Hudson Valley.  First of all, anyone acquainted with the martial art of BJJ will know that there are two distinct styles:  Gi Jiu-jitsu, where the competitors wear a full kimono with a top, pants and a belt, and no-gi Jiu-Jitsu, also known as submission grappling, where the competitors wear a pair of shorts and a rash guard.   While the two styles have many similarities, they also have many differences when it comes to grips, pace of the match, takedowns, and overall strategy.  Many martial arts’ schools only offer instruction in one or the other, and this becomes a problem if the student has interest in competing in the style not offered by their dojo.  Many a BJJ student has entered a no-gi division at a local tournament after training a year or two with the gi on, believing the two styles to be nearly identical, only to meet with defeat because they were unprepared for the differences.  The same has also occurred the other way around, with students training exclusively no-gi, then entering a gi competition and finding themselves confused by the different grips and chokes.  Luckily, Hudson Valley’ martial artists training at Precision can train in both styles and be prepared to compete under both formats.  In fact, the two styles can complement each other and work as training tools for competition in the other.  For example, training with the gi on can help a no-gi competitor work on his grip strength.  Or, if the student trains without grabbing his opponent’s gi and asks his opponent not to collar choke him (since neither will apply to no-gi competition), he can otherwise learn a great deal about posturing which can cross over to no-gi. This is because he will have to develop the muscles necessary to resist the increased pounds of pressure created by the downward pull of the kimono that would not be focused on as greatly in no-gi training. Another reason that gi training can help no-gi training is that the increased friction caused by the gi will reduce the sweat factor which allows submission grapplers to more easily slide out of submissions without using as much technique, so no-gi grapplers will have to learn more technical escapes based less on athleticism.  Likewise, no-gi grappling can greatly aid gi grapplers in their style because they will have to develop different types of grips which can cross over equally well to their style, (such as underhooks and overhooks), but which they may not have focused on as much in gi training due to over reliance upon gi grips.  Since Precision Mixed Martial Arts in the Hudson Valley offers both of these styles, a student wishing to compete under either will reap the benefits.

Moreover, martial artists at Precision in the Hudson Valley will learn to wrestle in their submission grappling classes and they will also learn Judo takedowns in their gi Jiu-Jitsu classes.  This is something that most Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools do not offer, and for this reason many competitors in both styles of grappling have been unsuccessful in competition because they did not know how to defend against, or initiate the takedown.  In fact, there is such a heavy emphasis upon both wrestling and Judo in Precision’s Jiu-Jitsu classes that many students have been able to have success in local Hudson Valley wrestling tournaments.  Since schools in the New York’s Hudson Valley region are rife with quality wrestling teams, these young wrestlers often come over to Precision to complement their wrestling with Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, as well as extra wrestling classes, and find increased success on the wrestling mat.  Likewise, the local wrestlers help our Jiu-Jitsu students with their takedowns and our jiu-jitsukas find more success in grappling tournaments.

In terms of overall strategy, Precision in the Hudson Valley’s instructors have a wealth of experience in all grappling styles so they will know how to coach their students in competition.  We have black and brown belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who have extensive competition experience in both gi and no-gi divisions who can help students learn the point systems found in local Hudson Valley tournaments and also teach them how to pace themselves in their matches.  We also have multiple Division One wrestlers who have competed at schools in the Hudson Valley region who can teach our wrestlers and jiu-jitsukas how to apply their mat skills and a renowned Judo black belt who is experienced in training Judokas for competition.

In addition to the many grappling styles taught at Precision Mixed Martial Arts, we also offer the striking styles of Muay Thai Kickboxing and conventional western boxing and our coaches are perfectly equipped to prepare our students for the ring.  Our head Muay Thai coach, Karl Nemeth, is himself an AKBF kickboxing champion in the Hudson Valley area with multiple victories and several knockouts to his credit who is quite adept at teaching both beginning and advanced students the skills necessary for sport competition.  Likewise, our head boxing coach, Derrick Ohlhoff, is a three-time Golden Gloves’ boxing champion who has coached many of our students to wins in the boxing ring.  The knowledge our coaches have to impart is multi dimensional.   Not only will our striking instructors teach the aspiring competitor the necessary technique but they will also make sure that the student has a practical application for it by having the student engage in serious sparring sessions before any fight so that they will know what to expect.  While it might seem strange to some, many martial arts’ academies do not even allow sparring, either deeming it unnecessary or fearing that students will be injured.  Yet some of these schools will actually allow their students to enter competitions without ever experiencing real contact in sparring and it is this that will actually increase their risks for injury once they truly step foot in the ring.  Also, many martial arts’ schools in the Hudson Valley and elsewhere do not have an actual boxing ring so they are unprepared for the environment under which they will be competing.  This is not a problem at Precision with our new sixteen by sixteen foot ring.  Strikers at Precision will also have rounds set with timers that will sound at the end of each to prepare them for the short bursts necessary during a competition bout.  Nothing is left to chance and we make sure our fighters are ready for everything they will experience come fight night.

Finally, if Mixed Martial Arts is a goal of the Precision trainee, a better coach cannot be found than in our head instructor Brian McLaughlin.  McLaughlin is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and two-time MMA champion who boasts an impressive 6-2 record and has even competed on the UFC’s reality show T.U.F, season eight.  McLaughlin teaches his MMA students everything they will need to find success in the cage.  Often neglected by other martial arts’ schools, McLaughlin teaches his students proper nutrition and weight cutting skills so that they can make the right competition weight and feel strong and healthy when stepping out there.  The MMA classes themselves focus on all aspects of mixed martial arts, including ground and pound, fusing takedowns with strikes, getting back to one’s feet and defending from the bottom against an opponent on top, as well as many other elements.  Brian also makes sure that all his aspiring competitors have the necessary cardio to deal with the pace of an MMA fight, and even has many tips to dealing with the mental stresses of fighting which he has learned through his actual ring experience.

In summary, no matter what style of martial art a student wishes to compete in, Precision MMA in the Hudson Valley will be able to adequately prepare them.  Don’t waste your time training with coaches who claim to know what it takes to fight without ever having put the gloves on themselves.  Try us out for 30 free days and see all we have to offer the aspiring competitor.

12076823-precision-frontGet Started at Precision Mixed Martial Arts Today!  Make sure to ask about our 30-day FREE trial!

Jamey Bazes is a lifelong martial artist holding a brown belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kenpo Karate.  He also holds a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz.  He is a student of Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY (near Poughkeepsie) and a decorated competitor including a Delaware Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu State Championship and a NAGA World Title.  To train with Jamey in Poughkeepsie NY check out Precision MMA http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com

Read even more about Hudson Valley MMA

Mar 142013

MMA in the Hudson Valley has been exploding over the past few years.  Unfortunately, many of the Hudson Valley MMA Gyms are simply single style martial art schools re-branding themselves in order to profit from the UFC boom.

Hudson Valley MMA

Hudson Valley MMA

Here’s a few things to look out for when selecting an MMA gym in the Hudson Valley.

#1 – The school only competes in 1 discipline

A true mixed martial arts gym will have golden gloves boxers, muay thai kickboxers, grapplers and mixed martial artists all stepping onto the mat, ring or cage to compete.  If you are at a school which only produces kickboxing competitors or grapplers then that is a big red flag.


#2 – All the same coaches for each discipline

MMA encompasses so many unique styles that its nearly impossible for one coach to be a true expert in each discipline.  A well rounded Hudson Valley MMA gym will have a variety of instructors for wrestling, Judo, boxing, muay thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  If there is only a single instructor then they are likely severely lacking in one or more areas.


#3 – An uneven schedule

If 75% of the classes are devoted to one style then you probably are NOT at a true Hudson Valley MMA gym.  Many Jiu-jitsu gyms will have a “boxing night”.  While that may be a nice change of pace, it certainly does not do enough to qualify the school as a Mixed Martial Arts Gym.  Authentic MMA gyms teach in depth in all ranges of combat, not topical highlights.


#4 – Limited Facility

An MMA gym will have a striking area as well as a grappling space.  If your gym only has a boxing ring and heavy bags with no grappling mats or crash pads then you can bet they aren’t devoting enough time to ground fighting.  Conversely many BJJ gyms posing as MMA schools have nice mats and wall padding but no striking bags or boxing ring.  The facility is a reflection of the training.  If you want mixed martial arts then you need variety in the facility.

Hudson Valley MMA

Hudson Valley MMA

 So if you’re looking for an authentic Hudson Valley MMA gym, check out Precision MMA in LaGrange, NY.  With classes 7 days a week in boxing, muay thai, BJJ, Judo, Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts Precision has the best schedule in the Hudson Valley with experts teaching each discipline.  We also are the largest MMA school in all of Dutchess County at 5,000 square feet.

Check out our 30 Day FREE Trial – call 845-392-8495 or visit http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com

Mar 112013
Precision MMA in the Hudson Valley is taught by MMA fighters for MMA fighters.

Precision MMA in the Hudson Valley is taught by MMA fighters for MMA fighters.

Since the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has gone through numerous changes in terms of both rules and mainstream acceptance. Originally, what is now known as MMA was actually a different sport in its structure. In the early days it was known as “Vale Tudo”, which translated from Portuguese means “anything goes”, or otherwise referred to simply as “No Holds Barred fights”. In 2001 however, the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board was the first to adopt a new rule set called the “Unified Rules”. The majority of the United States, including the Hudson Valley region of New York, and the rest of the world quickly adopted these rules. As such, they are now generally accepted as the main set of regulations for the sport and the move that defined the birth of MMA and the death of Vale Tudo. With the transition from Vale Tudo to Mixed Martial Arts more changed than just the rules. The general audience for the sport grew and changed along with the styles of the fighters, extending to the Hudson Valley and well beyond. Once less of a sport and more of a spectacle, with no weight classes, few rules and very little rhyme or reason behind who was permitted to fight in the events, after the inception of the Unified Rules MMA became a very organized athletic competition. Specific weight classes were created to avoid mismatches, and very clear boundaries were set between what was and wasn’t legal. As the rules became clearer, likewise, the strategies for the fighters competing became more honed and Mixed Martial Arts coaches seeking to prepare their fighters for competition discarded what was useless, and zeroed in on what was effective. Competition teams that focused too much on one aspect of MMA and not enough on the others began to fall out of favor as their members were less successful, and the successful teams provided a formula for others to follow. While the strategies for the camps differed, one factor was consistent amongst most: in general, most successful teams, such as Precision MMA in Hudson Valley, New York, had one or more coaches who had at one point fought in Professional Mixed Martial Arts fights themselves. This remains to be the case these days, as MMA fighters need coaches who have also set foot in the ring to clarify details that might be overlooked by instructors lacking this experience.

Despite the massive differences in the rule set at the time, when Royce Gracie fought in the first UFCs in the early 90s, he didn’t go out there knowing what to expect based only on his own past experiences. Royce fought with his father Helio and his brothers Rickson and Rorion in his corner, all of whom had fought professionally themselves. Though Royce outmatched most of his opponents, he found his first real challenge when faced with 265lbs wrestler Dan Severn in the main event of UFC 4. If you look back at that old footage you can clearly see moments when Royce is looking to his corner for advice. Royce went on to win the fight, but without his corner this may not have been the case. A good corner man, like those provided by Precision in the Hudson Valley, is essential in MMA and experience in the ring is the most important credential any corner man or instructor can have. There are many reasons for this that we will look at in detail.

First and foremost, Mixed Martial Arts is a very chaotic sport. Even with the modern Unified Rules, the possibilities for what can occur in the ring are nearly endless and fighters risk very real bodily injury every time they compete. Anything that can make the sport less chaotic is a plus, and the antidote to chaos is experience. Even if someone cannot relate to an experience themselves, they should at the very least have an advisor who can. At Precision Mixed Martial Arts in Hudson Valley, New York, students are extremely lucky to have an instructor who has been in the ring himself in Brian McLaughlin. Boasting a record of 6-2 and having fought on the Ultimate Fighter Season Eight, Brian is able to coach his students from a unique vantage point. The Hudson Valley’s McLaughlin has faced just about every adversity in the ring and can explain details that a coach who has not fought would overlook. Sure, any MMA coach can tell his student that as a modern day fighter he will need to be proficient in the standup, wrestling and ground portions of the game. However, only former fighters like Brian can tell you what it is like to fight with an injured hand or with bronchitis. Only a former fighter will be able to tell his students to avoid shooting on the logos of the mat surface in the cage, because these surfaces are much more abrasive than the rest of the mat and will tear the skin of one’s knees. These are just a few details that Precision in the Hudson Valley’s MMA coach can impart to his aspiring fighters.

Many Hudson Valley MMA camps are organized mainly around one discipline as their base. For some schools the instructor has a striking background and has competitively taken part in boxing and kickboxing fights. Others come from a wrestling background and others from a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu base. However, even coaches who have fought or competed under these rules are incapable of fully preparing a student for a mixed fight where the combat can take place both standing and on the ground. An MMA coach who is a former Jiu-Jitsu competitor, for example, may be able to instruct his students to try to keep the fight on the ground, but they will not be able to explain first hand the frustration experienced when the opponent refuses to fight your fight and simply wants to back away to the standing position. A coach with actual MMA experience like the Hudson Valley’s Brian McLaughlin can explain to his students how they may need to be patient in such a situation, because it has in fact happened to him. Likewise, an MMA coach with experience will know that closing the distance against an experienced striker may be difficult or likewise, that keeping the fight standing against a good grappler may not always be possible, and that should the fight hit the ground they will need to have other options.

Beyond the strategic factors however, there are also the psychological ones that are even more difficult to grasp for someone who has never themselves fought. Prior to competing, any MMA fighter is bound to be nervous. Not only are they about to fight someone intent upon doing them bodily harm, but an audience is watching. There is going to be a great deal of noise in the arena that may be distracting. The lights may be bright to an abrasive extent and members of the audience may be inebriated or out right insulting to the fighters. A coach or corner man experienced in fighting himself will have specific coping strategies for his fighters when it comes to dealing with these aspects that a coach who has not fought will lack. For example, if the sight of the crowd becomes overwhelming, an MMA coach like the Hudson Valley’s own Brian McLaughlin may recommend that the student look for one individual in the audience who they are familiar with to make the image appear less threatening. This isn’t the sort of tactic any coach could recommend, its one only a former Hudson Valley MMA fighter would think of because he himself had to deal with it. Likewise, a former fighter will be able to explain to his students how to have a poker face while fighting, and how to hold oneself so that one’s own exhaustion or physical pain is less apparent to the opponent. He will also be able to explain how controlling one’s breathing while fighting is important so that they do not become too tense, how to drown out the sound of the audience by listening to one’s corner, or how to keep one’s eyes on the opponent to avoid other distractions.

Finally, former MMA competitors like Precision’s coach in the Hudson Valley can explain to their students first hand how to deal with different types of opponents and environments. For instance, if their student is about to fight a skilled wrestler who lacks a varied striking game, the MMA coach may be able to reference a particular fighter he faced with that resemblance and suggest his student try to land a standing blow before initiating an aggressive guard game. If his student is facing a pro boxer, the coach may be able to describe from personal reference how such a fighter might panic once being taken down and the sort of reaction they might be likely to have. MMA coaches like Brian McLaughlin from the Hudson Valley will also be able to explain to their students how fighting in a cage differs from fighting in a ring and how to prepare for each, because they have fought in both environments. They may also have strategic advice for fighting with rounds of different lengths, for example, they may suggest that a student competing with shorter rounds initiate aggressively early in the round, or they may suggest a student fighting with longer rounds play a more conservative game to prepare for the exhaustion of the later rounds. All these aspects and others too numerous to count can only be explained by an MMA coach with actual in-the-ring experience.

In the ever-growing sport of MMA new strategies are being developed each day and every school has its own strengths and weaknesses. As every member of a fight camp comes together they combine to form an overall body of knowledge, of which the strongest link is the head instructor. When the MMA instructor himself has fought professionally, like Precision’s coach in the Hudson Valley, there is less guesswork involved in fighter preparation and so the fighters will know more of what to expect when they step into the ring themselves.

Train at the #1 Hudson Valley MMA Gym Check out Precision MMA FREE for 30 Days visit http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com

Hudson Valley MMA

Hudson Valley MMA

Jamey Bazes is a lifelong martial artist holding a brown belt in both Tampa BJJ and Kenpo Karate.  He also holds a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz.  He is a student of Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY (near Poughkeepsie) and a decorated competitor including a Delaware Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu State Championship and a NAGA World Title.  to train with Jamey in Poughkeepsie NY check out Precision MMA http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com

Feb 142013

Hudson Valley BJJ and the Law of Attraction

Poughkeepsie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Hudson Valley BJJ

There’s a theory that like feelings and outcomes are attracted to one another. That is to say that positive thought supersedes positive outcomes and inversely negative thoughts precipitate negative outcomes. While this may not be applicable to all situations, it certainly plays a factor in martial arts success.  Here is my story about the law of attraction in Hudson Valley BJJ.

I can remember being a blue belt and grappling with higher belts and getting demolished when doing BJJ in the Hudson Valley. I felt like there was nothing I could do to stop their attacks or start my own. When I would look down at the color across their waist I felt like tapping rapidly was the only thing I would be accomplishing. However, one day I was visiting a different academy on a no-gi night. This particular night things were going well for me and I felt like I was going to tap anyone who got on the mat with me. I had a great roll with a guy I’d never seen before. He was technical, but I was able to catch him in a few triangles setups I had been working. At the end of the class I had to leave, but my partner decided to stick around for the next class. I was shocked when I saw him pull out a tattered BJJ purple belt and strap it around his waist. I couldn’t believe that I actually pulled off submissions against a higher belt in Hudson Valley BJJ. I later saw that this purple belt was actually getting the better of many guys who I thought to be unstoppable. I realized then that the difference was largely mental. With the other high ranks I saw their belt color and assumed defeat before I even began. However, when I grappled confidently and without concern for my partners rank I was able to be successful. Although this realization helped me in practice, I still had mental hurdles that hindered my performance in competition.

As a brown belt I entered the Abu Dhabi North American Qualifier. Abu Dhabi is the most prestigious grappling tournament in the world and only a handful of people get the honor of competing there. In order to earn my spot I had to win this qualifier. When I looked at my bracket there were about 30 people, but I was only concerned with one name – Enrico Cocco. Enrico was something of a grappling phenom who had beaten some really big names and earned a rock solid reputation – he had also earned a victory over me a few years back at a local tournament in Florida. I was relieved when I saw that he was on the opposite end of the bracket, we would only potentially meet in the semi-finals. I had a great day of grappling, easily winning my first three matches without getting a single point scored on me. I was one step away from the finals when I saw that I would indeed be facing Enrico. At that moment I felt completely defeated. I had convinced myself that there was no way I could beat him. He looked so dominating in his prior matches that I just assumed I’d be another notch on his belt. I stepped on the mat and shot into a guillotine choke, tapping out in less than 1 minute. Enrico then went on to win the tournament and earn a spot at Abu Dhabi.

Afterward, I was so upset that I gave the match away mentally before even getting on the mat. A few weeks after Enrico beat me we found ourselves competing against each other once again. This time though, I convinced myself I would win and show my Hudson Valley BJJ skills. I pictured myself getting my hand raised and grappled confident that I not only “could” win, but that I WOULD win. Sure enough, after a back and forth match, I had my hand raised. There was no technical improvements from the last match, no greater physical preparation. Indeed the only difference was my mentality. I believed in my success and I reaped the benefits. Having faith in your personal potential for success, is often times the biggest determinant between the possible and the impossible. For centuries it was thought that no person could run a mile in under 4 minutes. However, once Roger Bannister achieved it for the first time everyone re-worked their understanding of possible. The result? Runners began hitting sub 4 minute miles everywhere, today even high schoolers can do it. The “Bannister Effect” was simply the Law of Attraction applied. Belief in success caused a new level of achievement. Even against seemingly impossible opposition, a focused belief can overcome.  This is what I did with BJJ in the Hudson Valley.

A common pitfall people fall into when confronted with a challenge is to tell themselves they cannot overcome it. They go forth assuming defeat and arrive at their failure as if it was complete inevitability. Muhammad Ali once said, “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself”. Think about your goals in martial arts and in your everyday life. If these goals are worthwhile to you then chase after them with a steadfast conviction that you will be successful and watch your limitations be redefined.

To learn more about hudson valley bjj, visit our website: poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com or call us at 845-392-8495!

Feb 082013

Dutchess County MMA Fighter Brian McLaughlin, owner and head instructor at Precision MMA in LaGrange, NY gives advice on using martial arts as a tool for growth inside the ring and out.


Precision MMA is currently offering a FREE 30 Day trial to Dutchess County residents call 845-392-8495 or visit www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com to get started

Dutchess County MMA

Dutchess County MMA

Comfortably Uncomfortable

In MMA the saying “Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” is a very popular idiom.  The idea is that the path to personal growth and development is often achieved through a series of unfavorable crucibles. In 2007 I traveled far from Dutchess County to Atlantic City where I entered the Ring of Combat Beasts of the Northeast MMA Tournament.  After winning the initial bouts I found myself in the tournament finals. At one point I came across a fellow fighter, Charlie Brenneman, who was a finalist in the weight class above me. We were both waiting for the elevator and Charlie decided to engage me in friendly conversation. “Don’t you just love this?” he asked me.  “No! I hate fighting, I can’t wait until this is over” I replied. Charlie gave me a confused sideways look and decided against engaging me in further conversation.  While not making many friends, I was being brutally honest.

Part of me hates fighting.  Whenever I have an MMA match on the horizon everyday is filled with a combination of doubt, fear, anxiety and nervousness.  Prior to my first fight my coach had trouble wrapping my hands because they wouldn’t stop shaking.  Many people are perplexed when they discover my feelings towards fighting.  Everyone simply assumes that I enjoy fighting and I’m right at home under the bright lights of competition. When I’m standing in front of a sold out MMA crowd in Atlantic City I really wish I was at home in Dutchess County.  Upon discovering the truth I’m always asked why I continue to fight if it makes me so uncomfortable.  The reason is that once I went through a professional fight everything else in my life was easy by comparison.

I started MMA training at 15 years old.  Before I began training  MMA, nervousness and anxiety took over nearly every aspect of my life.  When I met people for the first time I couldn’t look them in the eye.  I used to walk with my head down. I was probably the least confident teenager in all of Dutchess County.  If I had to speak in front of a group my voice would quiver and I would start sweating profusely.  For my first couple of months sparring terrified me, but it allowed me to face my fears in a controlled and supportive environment.  Eventually getting choked, thrown and pinned by someone twice my size wasn’t so frightening. By putting myself regularly in uncomfortable situations I began to relax and my anxiety began to disappear and be replaced with a quiet confidence.  The self-assurance and composure I developed through regular training was incredible, but I knew it was the result of facing a real fear and conquering it.

In my case, I decided to fight MMA specifically because it terrified me.  At the time no one else in Dutchess County had ever fought MMA, I was in many ways entering uncharted territory. Once I had overcome the fear of confronting a professional fighter who was being paid to hurt me I knew I could handle anything.  College exams, public speaking, even opening a business were nothing compared to being locked in a cage with someone being paid to hurt you. Anytime I feel anxiety creeping in from a situation I ask myself “is this worse that any fight you’ve been in?”. Now very few things cause me to doubt myself or truly frighten me. By placing myself in stressful situations and confronting my fears and doubts I gained a confidence and self reliance I never thought I’d posses. I truly think a martial artist should at times embrace truly stressful situations or even intentionally create them.  I even preach this in my kid classes. When one of my young students hurts themselves they don’t start crying and looking for sympathy, they work through it (Pit bulls not Poodles is our saying). MMA fighting is an extreme example and I’m not trying to get everyone in Dutchess County to climb into a cage. However, I believe everyone should think of ways to challenge them self in training and at times be genuinely uncomfortable. Whether it’s pushing a little harder when you’re completely exhausted or rolling with someone much bigger and stronger than you – when you survive the anxiety you’ll walk away a stronger, prouder person.

If you live in Dutchess County and would like to begin MMA training check out Precision MMA’s 30 Day FREE Trial call 845-392-8495 or click here 

Dutchess County MMA

Dutchess County MMA

Precision MMA in LaGrange, NY – the best Dutchess County MMA

Feb 052013

Hudson Valley Martial Arts Thrives at Precision MMA

Precision MMA is a unique Hudson Vally martial arts school. Unlike other martial arts schools which specialize in a particular style of martial arts, Precision has a diverse curriculum including wrestling, boxing, muay thai, Mixed martial arts and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Hudson Valley martial arts

Hudson Vally martial arts

Precision MMA competitors have been hard at work across the Hudson Valley in the ring and on the mats. Gabe Khoury, in his first year of Hudson Valley wrestling, took home the JV section 1 wrestling title!  Gabe wasn’t the only one tearing up the wrestling room though, Precision MMA’s Mikey Rooney also won section 1 gold and will now go on to compete at the state tournament.  Derrick Feliciano performed very well in the varsity ranks. D beat some of the Hudson Valley’s best at divisionals, making it to the sectional tournament, a run at the state title is surely in his future.

In the squared circle we had John Joy putting his boxing on display at the NY state Golden Gloves.  Joy made the trip from the Hudson Valley to Buffalo and fought a home town favorite.  After getting struck with an illegal blow to the back of the head, Joy fought back and earned a decision victory.  In the second round of the tournament Joy was dominating the first half of his fight, but dislocated a rib after a well placed body shot, allowing his opponent to come back and earn the victory.  Although he fell short of winning the gloves, Joy showed that he belongs among the top amateurs and will be back next year to take another swing at the title.

Also, Precision martial arts purple belt Will Nagy has been putting his skills to the test in combatives competition. Combatives is the US Army’s style of mixed martial arts specifically developed for real world combat.  Will trained at Precision since his freshman year at West Point, he recently took part in the Fort Hood Combatives tournament at 185 pounds and took home the title.  He sent me an email thanking everyone at Precision for helping him through the years:

“Hey Brian, I just wanted to let you know that winning that martial arts tournament was a huge deal for me in terms of my career and setting myself apart from my peers, which is very difficult to do as a lieutenant. I got recognized by colonels and generals for winning, I was the only officer to win, and I’ve been put up for a non-valorous medal for winning it. I’m also going to be put on special duty for a few moths to exclusively train to represent fort hood at the all army tournament. Most importantly it gives me a level of respect and credibility with my soldiers that would have taken months or years to build up otherwise. I couldn’t have done it without you and everyone at Precision!”

Check out Hudson Valley Martial Arts at Precision MMA FREE for 30 Days call 845-392-8495 or click here


Feb 052013

Dutchess County MMA – Fight Stories from Precision MMA

Dutchess County MMA

Dutchess County MMA

Brian McLaughlin is the head instructor at Precision MMA in LaGrange, NY.  He is also Dutchess County’s only Pro MMA champion.  This is his story about winning his second MMA title in Ring of Combat.

Going into Ring of Combat 17 I was tired – both physically and mentally.  MMA Competition is an exhilarating experience.  You are in a high pressure situation and your skills, abilities and mental toughness are put on display for the whole world to see.  You train hard and prepare yourself physically to the point that you’re in peak condition, but in a way you are never more vulnerable.

In 2007 I was 23 years old and ready to take one the world, I felt like I was the toughest man in Dutchess County.  I started my competitive run in the spring in Ring of Combat. I took on BJJ Black Belt Carmine Zocchi at 170 pounds.  I usually fought at 155 but after multiple opponents dropped out I decided to step up in weight in order to have an opponent.  I used my smaller stature to my advantage by utilizing speed in transitions to lock in a first round submission.  Two months later on a whim I hopped into a 200 pound pro grappling tournament, once again going up in weight for the chance to compete.  I grappled through some tough guys taking 2nd in the division.  A few short weeks later I was back on the mat winning a grappling superfight at the Diamond State games.  All this grappling was really just while I waited for a promoter to offer me a fight.  My opportunity came when I was invited to fight at Ring of Combat 15 in September. The fight was in Atlantic City, a long way from Dutchess County.  An intense and grueling training camp resulted in an easy victory.  A 32 second first round submission made a big impression.  With back to back submission wins in the organization I was now going to be fighting for the title at Ring of Combat 17 and a potential $13,000 purse.

The problem was that the non-stop competition was starting to catch up with me.  Aches and pains mixed with mental fatigue and anxiety about the coming fight.  A few days before the fight I started having trouble catching my breath, I would go into a fit of coughing any time I raised my heart rate.  Sure enough, I had bronchitis.

Warming up for the fight I grappled lightly with my friend for all of 5 minutes and it left me completely exhausted.  I knew my conditioning wouldn’t hold up for a 15 minute fight.  The last thing I wanted was to drive back to Dutchess County with a loss.

Climbing into the ring I tried to project an air of confidence when in reality I was scared to death. My opponent was also riding a winning streak, undefeated in his career. He looked like a walking ball of muscle.  The one comforting thought I had as the bell sounded was “At least it will be over soon”.

I fired one punch and he immediately clinched and threw me to the ground.  I threw up a submission and he slammed me like a pitbull playing with a chew toy.  Then, for just a second he made his mistake. He left one of his arms in my guard.  I quickly seized the opportunity and slapped on my triangle choke, a move that has saved me more times than I can remember.  He tried to slam his way out, but this time I was ready and hooked his leg to avoid being picked up.  Three taps later and I was $13,000 richer.

The real satisfaction wasn’t in the money or the title though – it was knowing that at my most vulnerable, at my weakest, my training was there for me.  This had been my toughest crucible yet and my jiu-jitsu guided me through.

If you live in Dutchess County and dream of one day being an MMA champion check out Precision MMA’s 30 Day Free Trial call 845-392-8495 or visit www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com

Precision MMADutchess County’s home for authentic mixed martial arts!

Jan 222013

Mixed Martial Arts has become a buzz word in the Hudson Valley.  Now that the UFC is one of the most popular sporting events Hudson Valley schools that specialize in a single martial arts discipline are now calling themselves “Mixed Martial Arts Gyms

Hudson Valley Mixed Martial Arts

Hudson Valley Mixed Martial Arts

A sign that you may be stuck in a phony MMA gym in the Hudson Valley is the frequency that the different arts are trained.  A true Hudson Valley Mixed Martial Arts School will have a combination of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, muay thai and boxing each and every day. Many fake mixed martial arts gyms will have grappling everyday and “striking” one or two days at most (or vice versa).

Precision Mixed Martial Arts prides itself on being the most diverse mixed martial arts school in the Hudson Valley Boxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are taught every single day of the week.  In addition, the gym is properly equipped for each individual art.  Thai pads, jump ropes and kick shields for muay thai training, a full size boxing ring, heavy bag, upper cut bag and double end bag for boxing, crash pads and zebra mats for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – all in a 5,000 square foot facility.

Here’s a look inside a typical Monday at Precision Mixed Martial Arts – students begin with boxing and muay thai training before getting on the ground for grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  At this Hudson Valley Mixed Martial Arts school no stone is left unturned.

Check out Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY call 845-392-8495 or visit http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com to get started