Rayce asked me to post a couple old pics here
Rayce asked me to post a couple old pics here.
I'm not home yet,
and I'll have to engage my wife to find my "old bjj" folder,
so give me a day or so.
Be aware, I'm not going to post my life's history on the Internet,
so don't ask.
Here I am in a 1996 magazine article about BJJ
Here I am in a 1996 magazine article about BJJ.
Prof Marcio Simas is choking me in the picture.
I helped develop the copy (content) for the article.
Thanks to Michael Quinn, my old friend and mat nemisis,
for sending me this picture.
A few more to come when I get home,
And the wife helps me find my ancient history folder.
Marcio Simas and Sergio Penha Academy
Marcio Simas and Sergio Penha were partners and my teachers.
This was a real, dedicated BJJ academy, were we rolled every class,
and all classes were taught by two well known BJJ black belts from Brazil.
Me rocking some umbro's and Academy shirt in a typical early 1990's competition opp
If you wanted to compete as a BJJ stylist in the early and mid-1990's in Florida,
it was doing these types of Vale Tudo or shoot fights, or
entering Judo tournaments, or
Buy a plane ticket to California or Brazil.
The NHB fights were a lot of fun, but there was not a lot of organization like their is today.
Fight's On, I am the guy in the goofy blue umbro's (a type of soccer shorts).
I always wore a shirt when I fought if allowed because I was afraid of getting Staph.
Most of my opponents bodies had nasty steroid acne,
and the rings were typically filthy.
After the fight, Prof Marcio Simas gives me a congratulation hug.
Of note, two of my students are also in the picture,
a young Scot Bills (hat), and an even younger Mike Lee (far left)
who themselves both went on to later have worldwide NHB fight careers.
Trips to Brazil for the World Tournament, and to California for the 1st Pan-American
I also traveled to Brazil a few times to train and compete,
including to compete in the early Mundials.
I won some fights, but did not medal.
However, there were very few Americans or foreigners at that tournament.
Bananas were thrown when foreigners won.
The action on the sidelines was very "enthusiastic".
The rivalry between Carlson's academy and Carlos Gracie Jr's academy was fierce.
Fabio Gurgel and Amaury Bitteti were beginning their huge rivalry.
Royler Gracie was very well respected.
When we Americans brought up Royce as a possible Jiu-Jitsu competitor,
we were kind of laughed at.
The local Jiu-Jitsu people were glad Royce had won the fights but did not have the highest opinion of him
as a Vale Tudo fighter or Jiu-Jitsu competitor.
My buddy Ricardo was teaching me bad words in Portuguese and telling me they meant something else.
As he would introduce me to Black Belts and I would practice my Portuguese,
he would swoop in laughing hysterically before they beat me up for calling them bad names without realizing it.
The locals advised us laughingly to avoid actually sitting on the toilets for fear the "boombas" (steroids) would
come up through the toilet and enter our bodies.
I got some custom tailored Atama's made for me that still are in great shape 20 years later.
My friends advised me to visit a great nightclub in Copacabana called "Clube Help".
It turned out to me a whorehouse disguised as a nightclub.
One member of our party kissed a "girl" with an adams apple,
thus proving the old adage that the most beautiful women in Rio are sometimes a man (you have to check for the adam's apple).
Unfortunately, I may not have (many) pictures of these trip (I may need to dig through boxes),
because back when we did not have cell phones with cameras,
you did not bring cameras to Rio which you feared would mark you as a good target for robberies or kidnappings.
I asked about side trips into the favelas or Amazon after the tournament, and the locals just laughed and said "no".
So, instead I mostly hung out at Copacabana Beach, and trained at either an affiliate of Sergio Penha's,
or made side trips up to Gracie Barra (back when there was really one Gracie Barra that meant the school in Barra).
On one of the trips while I was at Gracie Barra, Rolles Jr was there, BJ penn had visited recently and swept through the place,
And Roger Gracie along with Gordo's little brother had just gotten arrested for firing rubber bullets at tranvestites.
On one of the trips, Marcio Simas, Sergio Penha, Carlos Gracie Jr, and myself, were all sitting on the mats in Carlos Gracie' Jr's
sitting room, while Marcio successfully asked permission from the Confederation to start the Florida Federation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
I just sat there and said nothing, although Carlos Gracie Jr greeted me nicely when he was told that I was an American who had come to compete.
The Florida Federation of BJJ starts holding Florida BJJ tournaments
With the Confederation's blessing, the Florida Federation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is formed
and starts throwing yearly State tournaments.
I took a Silver medal in 1999 as a Purple Belt Adult Absolute, and medaled in my division as well.
And, I took the Gold medal in 2000 as a Brown Belt Adult Middle Weight Division.
At the time, these were the biggest BJJ tournaments in the South East United States.
Gordon Hester of CHOKE and I giving BJJ seminars to raise money for the Make A Wish.
Gordon Hester and I partnered to open a satellite BJJ academy in Sarasota.
Gordon was the gentleman you see sitting next to Rickson's wife ringside
for the Japan Vale Tudo shown in the CHOKE documentary.
He was an early student and friend of Rickson Gracie.
Gordon has been a lifelong friend, and even though he is semi-retired now, we had a lot of fun spreading Jiu-Jitsu.
Any time we gave a BJJ seminar, we usually donated the money to a charity.
Sometimes we would get more beat up giving those seminars than at ring fights!
Here we are demonstrating why standing up in base can be an advantage.
Mestre Sergio Penha demonstrating an old Jiu-Jitsu stand up principle (on me unfortunately).
Myself, a young Steve Hall, and Prof Marcio Simas (and a young Prof Marcio Feitosa).
I developed Leukemia due to a large exposure to radium and benzene
Life gave me a surprise when I developed Leukemia from a large exposure to radium and benzene.
Chemo was somewhat easy after having spent years training the bottom cross body with my friend Nelson Bracero.
Mestre Sergio called me amazingly frequently while I spent several months in the hospital.
It was a very interesting experience to get to have.
Someone else made this video of my initial diagnosis and journey through chemo.
I posted it to Facebook recently as a reaction of disgust to the official in Flint Michigan who seemed to have knowingly allowed children to be given contaminated water.
Surviving Acute Leukemia and Chemo was one of my tougher fights, actually:
Last edited by WFMurphyPhD; 2/27/2016 12:17am at .