SW Portland Martial Arts Blog

New Fall Kids Schedule

August 27th, 2021

We are always changing things up in an attempt to make the gym a more awesome place. For this update to the kid’s schedule, we’ve made several adjustments that I’ll try to explain briefly here but if you have additional questions or thoughts, we are always looking for constructive feedback.
We changed some of the age ranges. It used to be a 7 and up class, now it is an 8 and up class. We’re hoping that giving the older kids a little more of their “own” class will help increase the quality and speed of learning.
We moved all the 6-8 classes to the “old” gym over on Sunset. We also took those classes out of Lara’s orbit and put them into Wally and Ramiro’s sphere. We did this mostly so Lara can expand the younger kids program (there has been a massive demand for 4 and 5 year old classes) but also so Ramiro and Wally don’t have to shuttle between the two spaces constantly.
As with all changes, there will undoubtedly be some problems. Perfect. Those problems will be the impetus for further changes to make things even better.
Check out the registration page and more colorful version of the schedule here.

Masks again!

August 13th, 2021

We’re back under a mandatory face covering order in Oregon, so everyone must wear a mask while inside public places until further notice.

Turns out Oregon hospitals are getting overwhelmed with Covid patients, the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated. Do your part, get vaccinated and wear a mask when you’re indoors.

Training with a mask on isn’t super fun, but having our health care system crash is way worse. We can get through this together. Below is the governor’s full speech from Wednesday.


July 23rd, 2021

Learning a technique is one thing: you have a compliant partner, you learn the steps and BAM! There it is. Getting a submission against a resisting partner is different. They resist. They try their own counter techniques. They use strength. You get tired. In short, you have to adapt.
For the most part, learning to adapt in BJJ comes through sparring. You gradually learn what works and what doesn’t through trial and error. You learn what sorts of adjustments you have to make, how you have to wait for people to get tired before finishing the move, and all sorts of other details.
However, you can get a step ahead in the adaptation game by learning more than one submission from every dominant position that you know. If, for instance, all you know from rear mount is the rear naked choke, you don’t have any other option except trying to force in that one technique. But, if you have invested the time to learn say, three techniques, then you might have better luck. At worst, when one technique fails, you can switch over to another and at best, you notice which of the three techniques will work best based on how your partner is resisting.
Three isn’t the limit, of course, you might learn half a dozen or more techniques to finish with, but it is a pretty good starting point for learning how to submit a resisting partner (rather than a compliant one.)

What is a Front Kick?

July 2nd, 2021

What is a front kick? I suspect the answer someone will give depends quite a bit on who they are and what use they may (or may not) have for a front kick.

What do I think a front kick is? A general purpose tool for kicking your partner (in sparring) or your opponent (in a fight). My definition describes who I am (someone who coaches a general martial art – Mo Duk Pai) and what use I have for a front kick (sparring and self defense.)

The fun part for me about questions like these is where they lead. I find they often lead you directly to the core philosophy of what you are doing. In that case, that means what you think a front kick is (if you are a martial artist) depends a lot on what the goals of your martial art are. In other words, how you define what a front kick is will define what kind of a martial artist you are.

Fun stuff.

Kid’s Tournament Time

June 25th, 2021

What? A kid’s tournament in the middle of COVID? How is this possible?

We will be holding this summer tournament & picnic outdoors, and welcome families to stay on afterwards to play (in a distanced manner). It seemed like the right solution to the problem. We will still require everyone to wear masks but that should not subtract one iota from the fun that will be had, seeing that we’ve been masked throughout the pandemic anyway.


When: Saturday, July 31 from 10am-noon.
Where: SW Spring Garden Park
What: Forms, Stick sparring, and (if enough people are interested) Point Sparring

Follow this link for more details and to register.