SW Portland Martial Arts Blog

New MDP Requirements!

September 2nd, 2019


Huzzah! Ever evolving in the face of martial arts technology, here are the amazing new MDP adult belt requirements.

You’ll have questions – of course. You won’t know what some of the things are – of course. You’ll wonder what some of the things are doing on the list and if they are useful – of course. You’ll wonder if these requirements will change again – they will. You are part of the process and we want your feedback.

The grand experiment that is MDP moves forward. Happy training to you all.

New Teen Jiu-Jitsu Class

August 31st, 2019


We are shifting the Friday 5pm kids BJJ class to a teen BJJ class. Like everything we do, it is an experiment and we’re excited to see what happens.
Our hope is that it gives students who are ages 13-19 their own space and time slot to learn and hone their grappling skills. It can be a tough age to train, caught between kids class and adult class and teenaged students have been and are still encouraged to go to either/both kids and adult classes.
Will there be more classes for teenagers? We’ll see! Spread the word, get some students on the mats, and let’s do this.

Kid’s Tournament

August 30th, 2019



We are thrilled to be hosting MDP’s annual Fall Kids tournament. This event will feature point sparring & forms (no grappling but don’t worry, we’ll have a grappling tournament coming up soon) and will take place at our 1509 SW Sunset gym.
Hopefully, like all our tournaments, the event will inspire students to up their training, work harder in class, and maybe even practice their forms outside of class.
I know I’ve given this advice a billion times but it actually works, so I’m going to give it again: if students want to do better in the point sparring competition, they should try to attend Dug’s Saturday 10am sparring class and if students want to do better in the forms competition, they should show up 5 minutes early to three classes a week and go through their form 2 times before class begins.
Extra bonus advice for sparring: students should have the coach or a parent film them sparring so they can see what they do well, what needs improvement, and then formulate a plan.
Extra bonus advice for forms: students should have the coach or a parent film them doing their form so they can see what they do well, what needs improvement, and then formulate a plan.
You can register on our events page.

Kid’s Point Sparring Tournament

June 16th, 2019

Not too long ago, we ran a grappling only tournament. We figured now it was time to run a point sparring only tournament. Hopefully everyone who was bummed there was no point sparring last time is excited this time. Actually, hopefully everyone is excited.

For those who don’t know what point sparring is, I’ll take a moment to go through the basics. Two students stand across from each other, just outside of striking range. Then, on the referee’s command, they try and punch or kick one another. When the referee sees one student touch another, they call “break” and decide who got a point. The first student to five points, or the student with the most points after two minutes wins the match. Students get paired up with other students of comparable size, skill, and age in an effort to make the game as fair as possible. We use a double elimination format to ensure each student gets at least two matches. The contact level is kept light but students should wear a mouthguard and male students should wear a cup.

Our goal with hosting this tournament is to give students a culminating event so that they have a tangible reason to continue honing their martial skills during the no-school days of summer. After the event, we will walk over to the park and share popsicles with anyone who cares to hang out for another half hour.

The event will take place on Saturday, July 20th, from 10-11am at our Capitol Highway campus. Go to the event page for more details and to register.

New BJJ Coach

June 4th, 2019

Are you new to BJJ or have you been around the game for a while and are looking to up your Gi game? Either way, you should come check out our new coach, Matt Zorn.

Last night, as I was listening to Matt coach, I was trying to think how I would describe his teaching style in a post. Precise and patient are the two words that sprang to mind. He gives details, he waits until he’s certain that all the students in the class have understood the directions, and then as people are trying the technique, he goes around the class checking in with everyone to iron out any details. In short, he’s precise and patient.

Matt coaches every Monday and Wednesday at 6pm. Whatever your experience level, you should get on the mats and take some of his classes.