Saturday, August 18, 2012

American Top Team BJJ in Atlanta

I have a few passions in my Life. One is Jiu Jitsu. When shits getting hectic, sometimes you need to get on the mat with the American Top Team in Atlanta. I drove one and a half hours south solo, with mi Storm Kimono, looking to choke a bitch out. NOT today!
Master Roan Jucao Carneiero is apparently a very good instructor and a very polite man. I like how he left the mat during drills and disappeared into the back room,apparently on the phone. I kept looking at the door waiting to hear his voice, lol. Two blue belts and two white belts. A strong young Brazilian, 28 years old. A young athletic black man, Mitchell, 45, and a 38 year old computer technician named Tito Ortiz, OMG. Haha. All real good students. Excellent grapplers.
We did a warm up and I was getting a good sweat.  Roan demod a sweep from the guard that was pretty advanced. Holy shit! He definitely has BJJ on his Jiu Jitsu mind. We drilled then we trained 5 minutes rounds. Roan is very skilled and definitely knows how to match his students according to level.
Tough room and I actually tapped once. I highly recommend you learn BJJ from Master Roan at the American Top Team in Atlanta.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Joe Almeada

Team Storm

I met the Storm Team at the BJJ Expo in Long Beach. This is a very skilled group of competitors. I was looking forward to the Diaz match with Bruilo, but it did not go down.

Diaz No Show...

As a Brazilian I love Brazil but not all things Brazilian. In the last decade I have witnessed Brazilian cronies running the IBJJF and making it impossible for Americans to get a fair shake when competing against their Brazilian countrymen. These cronies have instituted rules to where if you miss weight by even half a pound you are disqualified and not refunded your entry fee. They gladly keep your money and treat you like crap in your country because they can.  One of these cronies (Junior) decided to bend all the rules for Braulio Estima and treat Nick Diaz like crap. Sorry that didn’t work out here.
As for Braulio I still respect him as a great BJJ artist. As far as calling Nick out for a mma fight, he knows that is impossible because Nick is signed with the UFC and in mma you have to make weight when they want you to. Not when you want to.  If Braulio ever finds success in mma then he can mention Nick’s name for a fight. Right now he should respect the man.
Nick is not without fault by any means. His lack of communication with his team and coach was inexcusable. This will be addressed privately.
Renzo and I have spoken and we are committed to continuing with this otherwise awesome event….without the services of Junior.
It should be noted that Nick paid to St Jude’s Children’s Hospitable the sum of what would have been his entire purse.
Thank you,
You have my apologies and my respect
Cesar Gracie

Friday, April 20, 2012


I love to teach. I have been teaching ever since I got my blue belt in ' 96. I have taught many, many students. I have taught some huge names in MMA today. And I have taught people you will never know. My first mat that I had all to myself was in '98 at LA Boxing in Huntington Beach. I really liked that mat. I called it the Redroom because of the red mats. It was a racquetball court room with wall to wall Norbert mats.  My mat now is blue. I like blue. It makes me feel good. The last group of guys were my most successful yet. I nicknamed them the DeathSquad, because they killed it at every competition we entered. The biggest was the NAGA Las Vegas 2011. I feel that over the last ten years that the students were more concerned with an MMA class as opposed to traditional BJJ. The DeathSquad focused on the traditional and it proved to be effective.  When teaching a student with no knowledge, I feel it is best to begin from worst position first. On your back. So, I focus on the guard and how to defend it. Keep your legs from getting smashed and moving hip to hip. How to escape, to sweep and of course to submit from the guard. The most importan t key is not to focus on just one submission, but a chain of three or more and the transitions in between.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

John T. Lober is on Twitter

Reluctantly, I have now created a Twitter account that you can reach me with @JTLober. I am looking forward to BJJ @ 9am this Saturday with RubberToe.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Mat

I am always teaching. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

BJJ Soldier

Robert "RubberToe" Lopez and ME

I met Robert through his nephews. He had  recently been released from prison, after a 7 year term for cocaine distribution. Back in the day, he would hop fence to fence, party to party in Newport with his backpack  filled with a kilo of coke. With out gloves, he would pull the block out and crack it with his bare hands. It had its toll on Robert with time, from an All-Star short stop to a prison convict with a noticeable deficit from the years of constant cocaine contact. Robert has a uniquness about him because of this.
From out of nowhere, Robert wanted to do a Grapplers X. I hadn't really noticed, but Robert was really getting into the grappling we were doing with his nephews. He entered the Grapplers X and wanted me to coach him. In his first match he immediately got caught in a wicked toe hold. As soon as he escaped from the most righteous toe hold ever in competition, I knew we had something to work with here. Hence, the name, Rubber Toe.
I trained with Robert and coached him at three  more grappling tournaments. Robert has developed a strong guard and submitted half of his opponents and only lost in the the finals of each tournament by minimal points. Acrueing three silvers with me and one more at another school.  I promoted Robert to a Blue Belt with Ken and sponsored him with a Storm Kimono. 
During my down time when I was not training, I encouraged him to seek out other BJJ. He found a school and competed at the Pan Ams 2012. Robert won by armbar in the first round and lost by 3 points in the final elimination tournament.
The week after he hit me up to train. Robert showed up eagerly to train with me Saturday morning. Oooh... I had some shitty sleep last night, but here we go. Right now, he is in the best shape I have ever seen him in. Stronger than ever. After thirty minutes of hard grappling and me just mobbing him, he takes my back and Gi chokes me. Legit. Hahaha, I could tell how good that made him feel. Something in me said to encourage Robert as opposed to making an excuse. I surely don't expect that to ever happen to me again, being a bb, but nonetheless it happened and I was proud of him. I consider Robert a loyal soldier in the legion of Jiu Jitsu. And I am the Ambassador. We will be brothers in our Jiu Jitsu life as we journey apart and be continued.

The Dirty Dozen Dispute

I recently received a comment from my YouTube video post...Ken Gabrielson, First American Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.    

Scarred10-why would anyone want a belt they got by doing overpriced privates with no sparring needed.Belts are worthless,performance on the mat is the only thing that matters.The whole bjj world knows reylson is a joke.
ken isnt a real black belt,reylson sells belts.Look at his site,twice per week privates with students( not reylson) for 3 years gets black,no competitive performance required.Ken supposedly got his black in 1992,the only academy open long enough to have black belts at that time was rorians in torrance,kukuk was the 1st and richard bressler should have been next but left rorian like everyone else with a brain.
ive trained wrestling bjj for 15 yrs now,ive lots of respect for the art but none for grades not earned through real grappling ability or for clowns who sell those gradesTHE SAME GOES FOR ANY ART AND ANY INSTRUCTOR.
Do you have an example of this?
yeah i have an example ,ken got his belts from reylson via overpriced private lessons in old school self defense,not sparring against resistance for an average of 10 yrs like everybody else.Kukuk was the legit first black after a decade with rorion.Ken is the only 1 of the early blacks that isnt credible because reylson isnt credible.I dont live in the states so my name would mean nothing to anybody there.I got this info on reylson from several prominent sources in californian bjj.Reylson is obviously real black belt from the time he was in brazil but decided to just throw integrity out the window on the plane to america.
Who am I?
i know exactly who you are,ken was your first bjj coach,you were a great fighter with tons of heart in the mid to late 90s.Ken may be a great coach,he has lots of experience in several styles but when he got his black belt,it wasnt credible in any other coaches eyes.He should be black standard by now anyway ,anybody would be after that length of time.
I think I understand. I just watched a Renzo/ Kukuk video on YouTube and checked out his web training website. He is a great instructor.
Scarred10-Are you saying that you are ignoring the fact that craig was the first black belt outside brazil and just choose to believe ken was?Craig earned his the hard way(1992 in rio from royler) and the only way that anyone has any respect for.mat ability.Richard bressler started with rorion in 1979 and still was only a brown in 1994 when he left the academy.Seeing as reylson was only in the states a very short time in 1992 when ken claims to have gotten black,how long did ken train with reylson? 
I trained with rickson in 1999 for a few months but wouldnt join his assoc since evrything was about money,shortly after that his son died and he completely lost interest in the school since then 
Regarding kukuk,lowell anderson who fought in one of the early ufc was his first black belt.He has a website and school now and teaches mma and bjj(no gi).Ive never seen him grapple so i dont know how good he is.Best teachers ive ever trianed with were rener gracie and chris haueter(one of dirty dozen).Im still only a brown belt after 15 yrs due to travel and lack of coaches in the area.
So, is competition the deciding factor here?
craig never competed in bjj as far as i know in the states,he may have when he was in brazil,i dont know .There were no comps for black belts in the states up until the late 90s anyway.Competition isnt the measure of a black belt,sparring is ,some people dont like the whole comp scene but are incredible in the school matches.I can guarantee you royler,rorion gracie and renzo dont let guys who arent legit teach for them.Everyone knows the same cannot be said for reylson.Even rodrigo went back to brown when he went to renzo to be trained for a real black belt.
I believe I need to speak with Kukuk.
yeah,talk with him if you can,id love to hear an interview with craig about the early days,80s and 90s,it would be controversial no doubt and lots of gracie feathers ruffled.

The Dirty Dozen are the first Americans to receive Black Belts from the Gracie's. The argument was who is exactly the very first? Ken Gabrielson or Craig Kukuk?
Kukuk got his from the old man Helio himself. After he left Gracie Torrance, he and Rorion got in a dispute over royalties, so Royce went up there to personally "yank" the black belt from Kukuk, who then hooked up with Renzo (Carlos' #2 son Robson's #2 son (Renzo's brothers are Charles and Ralph). Reylson was Carlos' #3 son, father to Rodrigo) when Renzo needed a foothold in the USA. as a result, they made pretty much the first bjj videos. but yeah, all in the family, so splitting hairs.
My opinion is that first or second, it doesn't really matter. What matters to me is what have each of them produced since receiving the Black Belts and who has competition footage, and where is it? I personally won a shit ton of fights and titles in MMA and Bjj with the skills and knowledge Ken has taught me. I haven't heard of one thing Kukuk has done besides a video with Renzo, Reylson's son. I actually, for awhile thought that Kukuk received his belt from Renzo and thought that wasn't even a valid argument until Ryan gave me the correct info. As far as competition, I personally watched Ken compete against Gustavo, Joe Moriera's cousin at a Pan Am in like '98. It was a stalemate with Ken having the only submission attempt from his guard. Gustavo scored no point to my recollection. I have recently watched a vintage Kukuk/ Renzo video on youtube and was super impressed. Even more than after I saw my first Gene LeBell video, where he choked his buddy out cold with a rear naked.


Boran's Jiu Jitsu, 1548 Adams ave Costa Mesa, CA

James "Avalanche" Boran is a black belt under the master Joe Moriera. He has been training BJJ since '91 and received his BB in '97. The same year in which I defeated Frank Shamrock in NHB Fighting. James has had his school in this same spot for over ten years now,with a second location on Banning as well. The only other school that has been in business that long in my neighborhood, is Cleber.
I rolled up on his school at 915 am unannounced. There were four students training on the mat with no GI's on. James immediately got up and walked me back outside. Once before, years ago, I was in his school to see one of his instructors that I really wanted to choke out. James is telling me I told the student I would do privates. No, i came to choke Marty. "Who is Marty" he said. Who did I tell i would do privates with? I honestly don't remember that, but It probably happened. So, I apologized to him and stated that I am a rep for the New Storm Kimonos and I would like to show him. He started talking price and I could tell he wasn't interested in what I got, but I was able to walk him back inside and continue my pitch. James must have been hearing some little birdie talking. He was just chomping at the bit to tell me what's up. He is giving me the cold shoulder as two Fireman student's of his walk in and say hi John. Remember us from training at the firehouse with Kenny. I did. We all couldn't stop talking story as we watched the training. These guys were all reminiscing about the IGOR ZInoviev fight and just a lot of stuff we all had in common. James sat silent. Actually had his back to me and his face in the laptop the whole time. Anyway, a student gets off the mat and bought my sample Dragon trunks. I hand James a twenty. He said what is this? A kickback. I'm not gonna come to your school and just make my money and leave you out. It's your school man. No, that's cool, it's yours. Class was like ten minutes before 11. I got my backpack on and turned to James,can I train with you and your Black Belts tomorrow morning? He walked me outside again. "No." you have your own school. Nothing personal,  Just Business, but don't come back. If it is just business, like you say, then out of  respect, if anyone asks me for private lessons I will split it 50/50 with you. I charge $80 an hour. But, honestly James, I am just training and repping the Storms. I am not interested in getting new students. I wouldn't mind it, but, that's not my focus. He said NO, it's just business. Ok then, I respect that and I went next door to Carl's for lunch.
Five minutes later, as I came out of the Carl's with my lunch, one of the students pulls up and jumps out of his truck still in his gear and sweating. He says John, John what's your number? You left before i could talk to you. I need help with my wrestling and you are the man. Can I get a private from you? LOL,  JUST BUSINESS. Well, James just asked me not to come back, and the old me might have slapped him in his face. Instead, I understand where he is coming from. It's JUST business, so here is my number. You give me a call when you are ready brother...

Wow. Someone is insecure about his school, his teaching ability , and his ability to keep students. I've never met someone so insecure about his academy. On the other hand, I can see where he's coming from. Good to hear that you didn't make an issue about it. As you and I talked about, the community is so small that you don't want to have any bad blood with anyone. I'm glad that your acting as a representative for storm. That is something that works for you. Keep plugging away, and you'll be moving a 1000 units month. -Ryan

An old friend

An old friend joins me for class tonight at Rickson Gracie Laguna Niguel.

Ryan Young, Black Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

After the garage days at Ken's in the mid 90's, we opened Combative Fighting Systems in Westminster, California. I was at the height of my MMA signature years of competition and the school was doing well. There were so many students coming from all over and I made so many friends. 
When Ken and I were in Hawaii for the Superbrawl in '97, Sheldon Young and the Enoue bros. hosted us at their academy, Grappling Unlimited. They were an essential part of our success there.
Sheldon's cousin Ryan came to our school in California from Rickson's. Ken's nickname for Ryan was "Midget." He was no midget when it came to Jiu Jitsu. I recall not being able to not ever get ahold of him. He would ball up and twist out from underneath me every time. It was I remembered him for....
John Mendiola is out with injuries and I needed a new training partner. Ryan messages me on FB and wanted to train the following Wednesday. How perfect I thought. On FB I wrote BJJ tonight. Jason, a former student, a big strong Greek grappler I hadn't talk to in three years messages me and asked if it was open training. Could I join? I asked him if he had a Gi, expecting him to say no, but he did, so I told him to come down and Bring It. 
Ryan and I are warming up with each other and the Greek shows up with his Gi. "Competition Team" embroidered on it from a school in Cypress. Cool logo I thought. I love it when I have a bunch of heads on my mat representing different schools. We train hard. Ryan and the Greek are rolling and we find ourselves having to instruct him. The Greek got the mount on Ryan and I told him to freeze. Now, do any submission you know and submit Ryan. I do not know what the hell it was, but it was some attempt at the basic scissor choke.
I couldn't sleep pondering what happened. Has the level of instruction just been bottomed out? I messages Ryan in the am. He replied "What the heck was that crap he was trying to do Lober?" Hey, you wanna roll with my school this week? I will pick you up. Cool, let's go.
On the ride, I said to Ryan, I am gonna train at as many academies as I could this year across the united states and just see what has happened to Jiu Jitsu. 
Ryan says why don't you load up your ride with Storm Kimonos and rep the brand along the way. It will be an excellent way to fund the trip. 
Great idea Midget.

Go with your strength

John Mendiola, Black Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

John was a Blue Belt at Ken's school in '99. After the school closed, the students dispersed to various other academies in the area. John received a Black Belt  from James "Avalanche" Boran in 2011.
I was for the most part, inactive in BJJ when John hit me up to train. I really just wanted to avoid any type of injury at all costs. Injuries fucking suck and I have had enough. I cannot turn down a friend who wants to train. I hadn't seen John in years. He is a huge Mexican grappler, 280lbs, and just a nice guy. I figured I would just let him drill with me for a while and since the NAGA's in 2010, when I grappled a guy his size in the Absolute. The same strategy applied, don't let him overhook me and go left when I'm goin' right, lol. Simple just let him have his way. Do not get injured.
It's our third session and things are stepping up now. He got out of my guard. He controlled my wrist and could sweep me easily. He also submitted me with some locks. But that was coming to an end. I came home and Marissa says" oh baby, what happened to your face?" I looked in the mirror and I had a huge Gi burn on my face from him sprawling crosside and twisting his fuckin' Gi in my face. Hahahahaha. Honestly, I truly missed this part of hard training, but I recognized the horror she must have experienced never seeing me like this before. 
A conscious effort on my part was made to step up and be the Jiu Jistu man I really am! It's our fourth session,  Big John is preparing for the worlds. He was dieting well and leaning up and looking good. We train hard. We are  breathing heavy and catching our breath after 40 minutes and John says" Training with you is brutal Lober. When I get done training with you my ears hurt, my neck hurts, and I have burns all over my face. I can train at Boran's all day long and never get that."
"What is the purpose of Jiu Jitsu, John? To submit your opponent." I said. 
John loses in the finals of the worlds. I can tell he is discouraged and reluctant to talk about his loss during our next session back. A sense of embarrassment. We concluded that he needs a plan. Listening to anyone besides himself, that hasn't trained and prepared him would only slow him down and take him out of his game. Take him away from his strength. Be honest with yourself at this point. What is your strength? We formulated a plan to enhance what he does well now. We will not deviate from this and we will take this to the Pan Ams. A competitor does not give up because he lost the finals. He comes back stronger and competes again. It's a numbers game. 
The day of the Pan Ams, over text I ask when he competes. "At 5pm, but I am going up against Asa." he writes. "kill him!" I reply. "stick to the plan and you will succeed. " "thanks man" he ended the reply.
In the Absolute Black Belt Pan Ams in Long Beach, Ca 2012, John Mendiola earned a silver medal. He lost by 3 points to Asa in the first round.  Beat a pretty famous guy, Amal Easton in the Absolute. Amal was the heavyweight Gold winner in the Pan Ams. John and his family were so happy and fulfilled with accomplishment. Joy. They enjoyed the win during a amazing Easter Sunday.
Although John did well, He was a fucking mess at the end, in his own words. He has an injured ankle requiring surgery ( an injury he had prior to the competition) a popped rib and a banged up shoulder. "I would do it again Lober. As soon as I heal I am going get to 205 and crush some bitches." John texted.
I do not claim to be responsible for John's success, it was in him. I merely joined him in a moment during his life journey and shared in his success.  Jiu Jitsu is an amazing lifestyle. We are brothers and Jiu Jitsu is our Mother. 


Ken Gabrielson, John MACHINE Lober, Dr. Salvatore Gasparre (Fight DR.) '97


My Mission is to visit and train with every Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in the United States in 2012, represent this strong brand and Ambassador the sport and Lifestyle I love.

Our Worldwide debut began with John Lober in 1996 during Battlecade’s Extreme Fighting. Since then our products have been seen in events like Pride and the UFC and a host of major competitions around the World.

Storm Kimonos® products were developed with the assistance of Renzo and Rodrigo Gracie. Considered one of the first US Jiu-Jitsu and MMA brands, innovation began in 1995 with the prototyping of the “Cohagen” GI. Storm Kimonos® was the first to sponsor and support fighters like John Lober, Gordinho, Ricardo Almeida, Matt Serra, Nick Serra, and Jon Danaher when they needed quality equipment during the growth of the sport. We were with these fighters when they first stepped onto the competitive mat, ring, cage, octagon and the hallowed mats of the ADCC.

Today, Storm Kimonos® have launched an entirely new line featuring products which include the Typhoon, Typhoon 2.0, the 96, Andre Galvao Custom as well as an entirely new line of casual wear to support our technical line of performance gear. We continue to innovate by listening to our athletes. Ours is a profound respect for the art. Jiu-Jitsu is not just a sport for us, or the fighters that rely on our equipment - It’s a lifestyle!
Contact John Lober for any questions you may have and for Academy discounts. 714-975-4850

Monday, April 9, 2012

There is a Storm brewing...

John Lober, Black Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu "It's a Lifestyle."
I am John Lober. I enjoy the study of human potential and organizing things. I like competing in mixed martial arts and training with my Team Machine, inspiring movies about true life events are my favorites. More than anything I enjoy meeting new people and learning about their life experiences. I like the challenge of building my business and also helping to train and develop the people on my 
team. I am always up for a challenge and like new adventures. Listening to Music as well as singing and dancing are things I enjoy most in life. I love animals especially dogs and family is very important to me. My main focus in life is having balance and being consistent in everything I do. I am excited about the new experiences and challenge life will bring my way.
With 17 years of high level BJJ training and competition under my belt, 2012 has given me as an instructor, a new motivation and love of BJJ. I am the first sponsored competitor of STORM KIMONOS. I have decided to represent this strong brand and my love for BJJ Worldwide. I am an ambassador for this great sport and I want to train with each and every one who loves BJJ as well.

InterestsJohn received his Black Belt from Ken Gabrielson and Rodrigo Gracie in 2010, and it was a long time coming.

"My first day in BJJ was in 1995. I respect anyone who has sacrificed and worked so hard to receive the Black Belt. It has just begun from here. Now, we are going to work Hard."

"When I removed the Gi and my Fighting game went through the roof. I destroyed world class fighters with the technical skills I learned from GI training." - John Lober

With competitive MMA out of his system now, He has decided to re focus himself to BJJ worldwide. John promotes this grappling art throughout the world now with Private Training and Combative BJJ seminars representing Storm Kimonos.

Our Worldwide debut began with John Lober in 1996 during Battlecade’s Extreme Fighting. Since then our products have been seen in events like Pride and the UFC and a host of major competitions around the World.

Storm Kimonos® products were developed with the assistance of Renzo and Rodrigo Gracie. Considered one of the first US Jiu-Jitsu and MMA brands, innovation began in 1995 with the prototyping of the “Cohagen” GI. Storm Kimonos® was the first to sponsor and support fighters like John Lober, Gordinho, Ricardo Almeida, Matt Serra, Nick Serra, and Jon Danaher when they needed quality equipment during the growth of the sport. We were with these fighters when they first stepped onto the competitive mat, ring, cage, octagon and the hallowed mats of the ADCC.

Today, Storm Kimonos® have launched an entirely new line featuring products which include the Typhoon, Typhoon 2.0, the 96, Andre Galvao Custom as well as an entirely new line of casual wear to support our technical line of performance gear. We continue to innovate by listening to our athletes. Ours is a profound respect for the art. Jiu-Jitsu is not just a sport for us, or the fighters that rely on our equipment - It’s a lifestyle!