Monday, August 22, 2016

A week inside my fight camp

I've trained at a number of gyms throughout the world, but when I'm in Vancouver I train at Lions MMA, where I started training MMA in 2010.

Coach Paulie (he typically only goes by his first name) separates his competition/fight team from his regular clientele. The fight team is on any given day less than 10% of the people who attend classes, but of course they are also the people who have been around a long time and show up the most consistently. Paulie is very tough, and does not allow people to fight who are not willing to train to his standards. We put in a ton of hours on the mat, and today I'll talk about that.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Meta-blog: What would you like to see here?

I'd like to ask for help from the people who read this blog and like the MMA stuff.

I've had people say in casual conversation that they'd like to hear more about my MMA training, but I don't necessarily know how exactly to go about doing that.

So what would you actually like to hear about?

Friday, July 29, 2016

My next fight, and my future in this sport

I'm excited to be returning to the Battlefield Fight League cage on September 10! My opponent this time is Vaz Lep. He trains out of Titan MMA/10th Planet in Coquitlam BC. I know that he's been around for a while; here's an amateur fight of his from 2011.

This is the only video online, but I haven't bothered to study it. It's unlikely that his game in 2011 looks anything like it does in 2016. My first amateur fight was also in 2011, and I know my current game doesn't look anything like the 2011 version. I expect him to be a tough opponent and that's that.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Discipline and extrinsic motivators

It is often said discipline is like a muscle & fatigues with use. Muscles, of course, don't just fatigue -- they also strengthen with use. Exercise is an attempt to break down muscle tissue so that the body can respond by building back stronger tissue. 

People around me often praise me as a disciplined person. It's one of the few compliments that I really enjoy when I get it, because I pride myself on working hard on my discipline. But in truth, I don't actually think I have discipline that is substantially better than my peer group. Among the general population, sure, perhaps I am 80th percentile or better. But I know many successful and diligent people, and most of them are much more disciplined than I am.

There are some ways in which my discipline is very poor. I've been without a traditional job for the last two years, and without deadlines to meet, my procrastination is often ridiculous. This entire blog post is being written at a time when I have many other errands that I have been meaning to do for at least a couple of weeks.

But there are many aspects in which I am very disciplined. Nutrition is probably the one area where I am very good relative to the field. I eat very clean, even by the standards of a serious athlete, and often to the chagrin of my girlfriend (who has at times accused me of orthorexia). But even this "discipline" is just a hack. I am not disciplined in the sense that I am much better than average at avoiding an open bag of potato chips or a carton of ice cream in my living room. But I am very good at walking past the potato chips and ice cream in the grocery store. I am very good at keeping my fridge full packed with vegetables and meats. 

One skill which I have developed is a very high ability to delay gratification. I have managed to frame things in a situation where I am often able to convince myself that the thing that I want right now will be much better if I simply wait until the future. It doesn't really matter what the thing is; I have learned to become very good at delaying its consumption. Particularly in the areas of diet and saving money, this skill has been very useful.

Should we incentivize discipline, or punish a lack of it?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

All In Or Knocked Out, Part 1

After a ton of painstaking work, Part 1 of our audio documentary "All In Or Knocked Out" is finally online.

Check it out at Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Olivier Busquet / JC Alvarado fight audio documentary

Over the last few weeks, myself and PokerCast producer Ross Henry have been working hard on a behind-the-scenes all access audio documentary on the $270000 fight between JC Alvarado and Olivier Busquet.

We've interviewed both men in-depth about their stories, their backgrounds, their reasons for taking the fight, their fears, their concerns, their ups and downs. We'll also have interviews with coaches, training partners, friends, and fellow gamblers. It's a compelling story, and one that we think deserves to be told well.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Fight recap: My "thrilla" in Manila

That was a crazy trip to Manila! This was my second time travelling away from home to fight -- the other time was to Suncheon, South Korea -- but I expected it to be a lot smoother than that trip. On this trip, I would be travelling with a teammate, coach, and girlfriend, and figured logistics would go a lot smoother.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Manila observations, weight-cut, and 24 hours to the fight

(Preamble: If you only came here to get info on how to watch the fight, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

I have been in Manila a little over 24 hours now, and I will be fighting in a little over 24 hours as well. It's the first time in about five years since I've been here. The last time I was here, I made the final table of the APPT event, so I saw nothing other than the hotel and the casino. The time before, I stayed at the house of a jiujitsu friend, and we shuttled back and forth between the competition and his family's mansion. So suffice it to say I'm not really knowledgeable about the city, nor am I now.

Brief (tourist) Manila observations

Monday, March 14, 2016

Fight fight! Saturday! Saturday!

I'm excited to announce my next fight! And it's happening in six days!

The story of this one is a bit of a wild one. I was originally supposed to fight this weekend in Hong Kong for Impi World Series, but that event got cancelled and postponed to August. So then I was offered a fight in Underground Battle MMA in the Philippines. I wasn't super-excited about cutting down to 125 lbs in the Philippines away from the comforts of home, so I turned it down.

A new guy started training at our gym in the meantime, and he accepted the fight. But he effectively pulled out of the fight over the weekend, so I decided hey, I'm in shape, I've been training for months without a fight, and I'm only 139 lbs right now anyway. Fighters fight, so let's do this shit. I called up our contact, and here we are.

Friday, March 11, 2016


I did an "AMA" for PokerVIP a few weeks ago, which was a lot of fun. A mixed bag of questions about MMA, mindset, and old school PokerStars.

 The thread is locked now, but you can check it out at PokerVIP's forum here.

Friday, February 26, 2016

What are your predictions about data storage?

I'm in the market for a new computer, likely another 15-inch Macbook Pro Retina, and so the question arises whether I want to pay an extra $500 (USD) to upgrade from 500 MB flash memory to 1 TB.

Here's what my usage looks like now. I'm pretty full, but there's a bunch of movies I could delete and not miss. So I think I could easily be fine if I were better at hard drive housekeeping.

This gets me to thinking: what about the next 3-5 years of storage?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

UFC weekend preview/rewatches

Like every MMA fan, I'm super-stoked about the UFC weekend going on. I've watched a lot of video in an attempt to handicap some fights that interest me. Instead of giving who I think are good value, I will just highlight some style matchups that I think are interesting. I doubt anyone is interested in my tout service anyway after I said that I laid the -800 on Ronda Rousey against Holly Holm. I suspect/hope that will lead to a decline in people asking me to handicap fights in a quantitative manner.