Gym Review: Midwest Center for Movement (Hudson, WI)

Some of the guys at Midwest Center for Movement in Hudson, Wi.
 Bottom left (the serious yet cuddly looking fellow) is head instructor Mike Ellefson. Bottom right is instructor Tim Mahedy
Three things ran through my mind as I drove over the bridge into Wisconsin. 
1. What is Wisconsin’s statute of limitations on indecent exposure?
2. What is that smell?
3. What the hell am I doing in Wisconsin?
The first two were lesser points that I won’t concern myself with, they really are more the business of local law enforcement and Board of Health (possibly the Department of Transportation). However, the third point was valid. After all, this is my MINNESOTA BJJ Gym Tour.
Well, earlier this year I wrote up an article reporting the promotion of the Midwest Center forMovement’s Mike Ellefson to the rank of BJJ Black Belt under Chris McCune and Rigan Machado. I felt that if I am going to report on someone’s rank promotion, I might as well check out their gym.
Besides being a BJJ Black Belt, Mike is also a 4th Degree Black Belt in Aikido, making him just about the last person that I want start standing against in open roll. Couple that with the 50 or so pounds he has on me and I will just sit my little tushy on the mat, thank you very much.
Yes, I said tushy. The sooner we get past that the sooner I can get on with my sad little life.
So, what’s the point of training in Hudson, Wisconsin? There are a lot of gyms in Woodbury that someone could train at. What possible benefit could there be to going over the river to the land of cheese and farmers that swear they were just “helping the sheep over the fence”?
I suppose the first thing would be the thought that kept going through my mind as I rolled with Mike.
“Why would God let a guy so big move like that?”
There is a lot of evidence that God doesn’t like me. Besides my looks, dead-end job and wherever that smell is coming from, for some reason I am constantly finding myself rolling against people that are not only well above my level, but perhaps at a level I will never attain.
What has set certain gyms and instructors apart in my mind while doing this tour is when I come across an innovator. Someone that has been doing the game for a long time, but instead of becoming complacent and comfortable in the way things are done, they play with the old concepts. They find a new way to pass or sweep, then find a new way to defeat that pass or sweep.
Only by innovating do we grow. Which is why those email ads never work for me…
Mike innovates. I learned this first hand as I had what I once thought a decent turtle position turned over with what appeared to be my own decision.
What sets me apart from many, besides that ****ing smell and my ability to make almost any situation awkward, is that I can get the **** out of stuff. I run like a frightened little girl just about any time I find myself in a less than likeable situation. However, this time, Mike always seemed to be right there, looking at me, smiling.
He really is a nice guy, which probably pissed me off even more. I don’t mind it when ***holes beat me. Then at least I can focus on their being assholes, but when they are nice and tell jokes I don’t have much to blame.
Rolling with his students was a good time too. They have a mix of several backgrounds and I had to adjust a lot to positions I rarely, if ever, see, especially from the white belts that I can definitely see promotions for in the near future.
Downsides? Normally I would say **** you, I’m not here to slam anyone. However…
What’s with all the nipple talk? Size, shape, texture. What the hell?
Sure, there is the chance that I might have been the one to start the nipple talk.
Perhaps I am the one that started talking about nipple size, shape, preference. 
Perhaps I am the one that starting talking about the best way to avoid bleeding from the nipples and if I should go to the doctor about all this lactating.
But that is just me being awkward. You don’t have to placate me! Just let me tire myself out and I will find a nice corner to curl up in and take a nap. Is that so hard?
All in all I had a great time rolling at MWCFM
Shameless plug:
Fall Grappling Games at The Midwest Center For Movement!!! Tentatively scheduled for 10/22/11
If you’ve read this before, you know I am a huge fan of this comp (and the sexy refs). The competition size is growing every time and is about to get even bigger. Not just is this event double elimination, but for the first time Mike is offering BOTH GI AND NO GI divisions! That’s right, for all you out there with necks too sensitive for gi (and the correlating chokes) you still get to party in Hudson. Mike is renting out an additional 1000 square feet for even more room. As usual, the price is dirt cheap $25 for one (1) division or $35for TWO DOUBLE ELIMINATION DIVISIONS! (add $5 to both prices at the door) Are you ****ing kidding me?! How can you pass this one up?
And, my favorite part, after the kids compete, we are going Grappler’s Quest-style. No Gi first and ADVANCED DIVISIONS got first. No longer will all your hard work mean that you have to wait around. Front and center, show us what you’ve got! 

Next Up: 10K MMA (Forest Lake, MN)

Upcoming Grappling Comps in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois (From 09/11-12/11)

Fall 2011 (sorry, that’s what the site says) King Grappler, Madison WI. This event is put on by Badgerland Jiu-Jitsu. Check out the somewhat strange website HERE and do your best to negotiate the information.

10/15/11: U.S. Grappling Chicago

Well, assuming that Chicago pulls their heads out of the collective *** and figures out what to do about BJJ, it looks like it will be our little Midwest BJJ Mecca this fall. Event costs range from $65 for one division all the way up to those of you that have too much energy and want to pay $115 for 5-8 divisions.

Check out details HERE

10/22/11 Fall Grappling Games at The Midwest Center For Movement (date might still be pending)
If you’ve read this before, you know I am a huge fan of this comp (and the sexy refs). The competition size is growing every time and is about to get even bigger. Not just is this event double elimination, but for the first time Mike is offering BOTH GI AND NO GI divisions! That’s right, for all you out there with necks too sensitive for gi (and the correlating chokes) you still get to party in Hudson. Mike is renting out an additional 1000 square feet for even more room. As usual, the price is dirt cheap $25 for one (1) division or $35for TWO DOUBLE ELIMINATION DIVISIONS! (add $5 to both prices at the door) Are you ****ing kidding me?! How can you pass this one up?

And, my favorite part, after the kids compete, we are going Grappler’s Quest-style. No Gi first and ADVANCED DIVISIONS got first. No longer will all your hard work mean that you have to wait around. Front and center, show us what you’ve got!

11/12/11-11/13/11: NAGA Illinois, Chicago, Il (not Minnesota or Wisconsin, but close enough). Details to come.

Gym Review: MKG- Minneapolis

Some of the crew from MKG-Minneapolis on 07/07/11  
It seems like just about anywhere you go these days there are places that will teach some kind of grappling or submission fighting.
So when I heard that the Minnesota Kali Group in Minneapolis taught Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I wasn’t surprised. Knowing their history with such names as Dan Inosanto, Rick Faye and Erik Paulson, I was expecting to have a class that was heavy in foot and wrist locks.
One of these days I’m going to get tired of being wrong.
In the class lead by head BJJ instructor, purple belt Fabio Morescalchi (which I thought was a kind of cheese until he was crawling all over my back and cartwheeling past me) I was treated to a different kind of grappling than I was used to. 
Sure, everyone learns the inside-the-box basics and positions. However, Fabio used those more as a guide than an end-all-be-all. 
Fabio’s movements were far more dynamic than I was used to and the flow chart that seemed to exist without limits in his head just kept pouring out. Variations on variations on variations.
Now, I have had some experience with the grapplers at MKG and now I know where they get it from. 
If I made do a little trademark infringement, it was a case of more than meets the eye…
You know, from Transformers.
The cartoon. 
No, not the computer generated movie or that weird tv version with the dinosaurs. 
THE CARTOON! F*** it, never mind.
The atmosphere inside MKG was all it’s own as well. The bass from the stereo could be heard bumping outside. Inside, there were groups doing Muay Thai, Crossfit and Kali. Several stations of weight racks and wing chun dummies opened to the grappling floor and boxing ring.
I was familiar with these floor from the several MKG Grappling Tournaments that I have attended (see SHAMELESS PLUG below). However, I had never been inside the gym when things were in full swing.
While we rolled, the Kali class was doing things with sticks and knives that made me feel like less of a man.
Remember those kids in high school that were quiet and unassuming? They probably wore glasses and did well in math. You might have even made fun of them.
Well, now they do Kali and know how to cut your head off.
So, if you are smart, you will buy them a drink at your next high school reunion and bury the hatchet. So they don’t. In your liver.
But I digress.
The was a different energy to the gym. The tempo and pace of it all seemed to make everything keep moving. Not just my partners, but the walls. The place was alive. It has been a while since I had that much motivation to keep rolling.
Sadly, the night ended, as it is prone to do. I took my leave with only a mild sense of regret knowing not because that the bar had been raised on my quest as far as atmosphere, but because I knew the next time I would be here, it wouldn’t be to roll.
And with that genius segue…

SHAMELESS PLUG: On 08/13/11, MKG Minneapolis will be hosting their annual No Gi grappling tournament. This is an adults only comp that will be double elimination. Stay tuned for more details in regards to time, divisions and cost. But pay attention, you don’t want to miss this one!!!
Next stop: If I had to guess… somewhere around the metro area, but you never know…

WORST BJJ INJURY PIC EVER!!! (WARNING: No, seriously)

What? Can’t you read a title? Seriously, this **** is nasty.

The pic has been floating around thanks to Miguel Torres’ twitter account. Evidently this injury happened during some grappling with members at his gym.

Maybe you’ve seen it before, maybe you haven’t, but you have been warned. Keep scrolling if you really want to see.

Here, let’s have a happy image first. You can also come back to this later to cleanse yourself.

OMG! That **** is cute!!!

10.

9.

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5.

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3.

2.

1. So be it.

I know, it’s not a broken arm, leg or back, but that is pretty ****ing nasty. Lost my eggo over it this morning. Though it also could have had to do with all the Hamm’s and rail whiskey I had last night.