Monday, June 29, 2009

Even from Iraq, TBJJ is supported

I had the great pleasure to speak to Russell McGilliveray who recently deployed to Iraq via Kuwait. Russell has been training for a long time to serve you and me, to make sure we have the opportunity to train in a free society. I don't care what capacity a military member serves in, they have my respect and are as much responsible for my freedom and that of my family as any other human being. I truly appreciate their sacrifice (and it is that, a sacrifice) so that I can write this blog, train in MMA, hunt, fish, hug a tree, grow my hair, or whatever I want to do.

I asked Russell to help us by giving a little background on himself and why he supports Tupelo BJJ. Here is his response. If you care to reply, please do so at the email address below and on the blog. Just click the comments button below. Russell is supporting TBJJ, shouldn't TBJJ be supporting him and others like him?

Sorry its taken so long to reply. I've been a little busy and have had problems sending emails. Let me know what you think. I fly out on Saturday to Kuwait. I will be there a few days then move on to Iraq. I should have internet access though. Thanks a lot.

I live in Pontotoc, Ms. I've lived there since the 4th grade. Before that I lived in Tuscaloosa, Al where I was born.

I've been mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom since May 1st. I've been at Camp Shelby for most of that time training and preparing to go overseas. I just got back on the 22nd from Fort Mccoy, Wi where I was going through a combat medic pre-deployment course. Oh, that is my job with the military, a combat medic. which I really love doing.

My biggest challenge has to be being away from my kids. I have an 8yr old son and a 5yr old son. I've only been gone for about 2 months and its been pretty hard not seeing them. My father is battling lung cancer as well and not being there to help him is really hard to do.

I would like to say that their are a lot of soldiers going over, most of them are there now, that are from your towns and communities. Just don't forget them. Don't be afraid to tell them thanks. They have trained hard and are ready do to whatever it takes to prevail and come home.

I've been interested in MMA since I was about 15 and rented UFC 1. That was back in '95 and I have been hooked ever since. I'm definately a beginner. I am a member of TBJJ but have not been actively training there for the past couple of years. I just live vicariously through others that still train.

I should be able to train while in Iraq. I've heard there is a combative program there. Also I've heard they have a ring and supposedly have fights. So I'm ready to see what that is all about. I looked on the internet and saw some fight clips from where I will be at so hopefully they still have that going on.

Russell McGilliveray


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New to MMA.... Week 8

Yesterday marks the 8 week anniversary of my first thinking of joining TBJJ. As some of you may know, I am mixing into our posts here my experiences as a person new to MMA. To remind you, I am doing this primarily to lower my blood pressure and get into shape. I thought the 2 month mark would be a good point to mark and discuss.

I went to boxing class this morning. I have to say that I almost didn't go because I didn't sleep well last night, didn't feel good, etc. etc. etc.... Somehow I mustered up the courage to get off my butt and drive to the gym. Once I arrived, I noticed the largest class had gathered that I have seen so far. Looking across the group I noticed that Clay, J Bird, Terry Robinson (just back from his fight this weekend at the Fed Ex Forum), Doc Romano, Jon "Tito" Price, and J Bird's brother were there. This is significant because from my perspective, things were about to get real ugly real quick.

I looked over at Tony Palmer who was warming up next to me and who is himself recovering from a bad week of sickness, and said "Big crowd", to which he replied "We are about to get our butts worked off." Let me say that Tony's words did little to help my panicked state of mind. I was shaking inside if not outwardly and in the words of Jesse James "I was shaking like a dog trying to crap a pine cone."

As usual, Doc did not disappoint. I got a great workout in and after it was all over, I actually felt much better than I had when I walked in the door. I don't know if you will have the same experience, but for me it went just that way and I still feel good. Compare this to the way I felt the first couple of classes and I would have to say that TBJJ has gotten me to a much better place physically over the past 8 weeks and I am very glad that I went. You will be too.

Chris Gates did the MMA class Thursday and my daughter (in her first class) learned a ton from him and put me on the floor about 15 times or so. Today, Doc had us boxing and winded, or at least he had ME winded. The pros around me didn't seem to mind at all. All in all, it was a great workout.

Here is what I learned today and what I would like you to take away from your investment of time in reading this post: I only really know a couple of guy at this class. That is key. Why? Because of what Terry Robinson said about camaraderie. It is UNREAL! After class Doc had us do some light sparring. Jon Price comes over and spars with me, a novice, and has the patience to deal with my inexperience and teach me how to spar. I had no idea what to do and he got me started. I didn't last but about a minute and never touched him, but the point is that he helped me. I didn't ask.... he just did. When I finished taking up his time, J Bird jumped in and sparred Jon in my place. And guess what? Jon didn't have to ask him to do so either!

As I sat down and tried to catch my breath, I looked around and noticed the same thing happening all over the mat. Guys jumping in and helping one another (girls too) is commonplace.

So if you have been putting off trying TBJJ, stop. Get up and go and I promise you will not only have fun, but you will feel at home there. I am loving it and I believe you will too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PRO MMA Southeastern Fighter Spotlight: Terry Robinson

Pro MMA did a great job with this interview with Terry! Go to the site to read the entire article. By: Jack Bratcher

One of our goals here at PRO MMA ( has always been to bring focus to MMA fighters, gyms, and promotions that often fly under the radar from much of the media. In this edition of PRO MMA Southeastern Fighter Spotlight we are featuring a lightweight up-and-comer by the name of Terry Robinson.

Terry trains out of Tupelo BJJ in Mississippi. He has been preparing for his third professional fight which takes place Saturday, June 20, for Cage Assault in Memphis, Tenn.. PRO MMA ( recently spoke to Terry about the MMA scene in the South, his gym, trainers, his upcoming opponent, and what UFC fighter he would most like to punch in the face.

PRO MMA: Hi Terry, thanks for speaking with us here at PRO MMA ( How are things with you?
TERRY ROBINSON: Hey thanks for having me Jack. Everything has been going great. I’ve been training hard now for several weeks getting ready to do battle.

PRO MMA: How old are you Terry and where are you from?
TERRY ROBINSON: I’m 32 yrs old and I’m from a town just north of Tupelo, Miss. called Saltillo.

PRO MMA: You have a fight coming up right? Where is this fight, who is your opponent, and what weight class will you be fighting at?
TERRY ROBINSON: I will be fighting on June 20th at The FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.. I’ll be fighting Harry “Wild Child” Johnson at 155 lbs.

PRO MMA: Interesting name. What do you know about your opponent?
TERRY ROBINSON: I’m not sure of his record, but I do know he’s got several fights under his belt. He’s won a couple of belts as an amateur. He trains out of Team Vortex which is located in Memphis so he will for sure be the hometown favorite. Harry will have good cardio, he’ll be quick on his feet, and I think will be looking for the early knock-out or submission.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What did you think of the fights Friday night in Tupelo, June 5th

What did you think of the fights in Tupelo on June 5th, 2009 at the Summit? Personally, I thought it was a great night, but I think the final fight between Lawrence Lindsay and "AO" was the absolute best and made the entire night worth the trip.

Give your opinion. If you click on "comment" below and it asks you to sign in, just sign up for a free blog account. All you need is your email address and a password. Then you can share your opinion. We would love to hear from you.

Chris's Training Tip: NEVER STOP

This is what everyone in the country has been waiting for, the answer to losing weight, to staying healthy and to living a long life. Drum roll please......

First, the red pill nutrition. This is a tough pill to swallow but it is a necessity. You are what you eat. Eat whole foods such as organic fruits and veggies, quality protein such as wild caught fish(salmon & tuna are my favorites). It's not hard to do. Just plan ahead.

Second, the blue pill,... exercise. Do not give me this junk "I can't fit this pill in my mouth,," (don't have the time) make time! If motivation is the problem hire a personal trainer. Having that commitment could be the key to getting you started. In short there is no replacement for nutrition and exercise. If you make your mind, up you can do it.

That is my tip of the week....

Never Stop !!!!!


Hey gang. This week's talk is all about keeping the constants constant and getting the consequences of your actions. Health happens by choice, not chance.

The human body requires necessary maintenance for health. If these needs are not met, one has to expect problems. These needs include sleep, food, exercise, chiropractic, positive mental attitude, spirituality, etc. It has become trendy and cool to neglect your body and even do things that are harmful, such as smoking etc. Most people neglect their bodies most of their lives and then complain and feel angry when their bodies begin to fall apart at the young age of 40, 50 ,or 60, when that simply was the consequence of their actions.

Generally, people are responsible for their deposition in life. I say, Break the cycle." Understand, anything that makes the body stronger is an important investment in life. You may have 5 house, 3 cars, But you will only have one body and it doesn't come with replaceable parts. Keep things simple. Find fun ways to cook healthy foods. Get rest each night and in the day if possible. Find a fun exercise program that you can do consistently 2-4 times a week.

Spend quality time with the ones you love. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people. Send some feedback to me. I would love to hear some of the positive changes happening in your life.

Dr. Mark Romano

Pictures from Tupelo Fights June 5th 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

My First Live MMA Fight

I attended my first live fight! And... it was not in any way disappointing. I was fortunate that my wife was able to attend with me. I played it as a "date", and didn't tell her that we were going to a fight until the last minute. Surprisingly, she had a great time. I thought she might chew me out for taking her to a fight for a date, but she really said it was a great experience. (I probably helped me that I I took her to Red Lobster for dinner.)

We had front row seats. I mean right up on the cage! I saw a lot of familiar faces: Doc Romano, Chris Gates, Kevin Crook, Jeff Chambers and his whole crew, Tony Palmer and his wife, Terry Robinson and many more. My wife was very impressed with the quality of fighters as was I. (I don't know if it was the fights that kept her attention, or if it was the sweaty guys doing the fighting, LOL) She jumped back a few times as the intensity got a little close for comfort. I have to admit I did my share of jumping during the bouts, especially when Lawrence Lindsay came out for the final fight of the night.

I have seen Lawrence at the gym and heard stories of his tenacity and grit but I have to say that he and AO put on a show! What a great fight! I thought it was really close in the first round, thought Lawrence gained a lot of ground in the second and dominated the third. Just my opinion, but I enjoyed every minute of it. AO was a physical specimen to be admired as was Lawrence. These guys came to fight and I believe we all saw what it means to be dedicated to this sport. The two did the MMA proud. TBJJ was very well represented in my opinion.

Lawrence made the night for a lot of us but props to AO and all the other fighters listed in this blog for June 5th. It was a great show and was filled with surprises.
Thanks to all of you who put it together. Very well done!