sparring at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament with Greatmats Martial Arts Mats

Infinity Martial Arts – Mike Welch – National Championships

Infinity Martial Arts equips Schools and Tournaments With Greatmats

By Brett Hart

Infinity Martial Arts founder Mike Welch first discovered tricking while competing in tournaments as an American Tae Kwon Do practitioner. Now, a fifth-degree blackbelt, he is one of the nation’s premiere instructors in the sport. Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament Mike Welch and Orlowski

”That’s a really American style. I fell in love with it and then that’s what I started teaching,” Welch said. ”Now Infinity has six schools and it’s part of our programs. Kids can… learn the extreme stuff – the flashy weapons, the tricking and kicking – and again when we go to a tournament, and they’re throwing back flips and doubles and B twists and the tricks, it’s clutch. It’s better than slamming our feet on a wood floor.”

Recently Welch was approached by a good friend, and parent of one of his students, about starting his own tournament.

Infinity National Championships

sparring at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament with Greatmats Martial Arts Mats”We have the schools, so we have the judges and the competitors,” Welch said. ”Infinity is well known around the area through tournaments. It was kind of a perfect storm. We found the Kalahari and everything just… fit well like lego pieces.”

In 2016, Infinity Martial Arts hosted it inaugural Infinity National Championships, which drew approximately 300 competitors.

”A shout out to Jeff Orlowski and his wife Michelle Orlowski – my co-promoter,” Welch said. ”They put the details together. Everything you don’t see that’s behind the scenes, those details set us apart.”

The tournament featured eight competition rings and a stage equipped with Greatmats interlocking martial arts mats.

Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament”Mats are always a plus for a tournament,” Welch said. ”The Greatmats are nice because of how easy they are to put together and take apart. They lock in. They don’t bubble. They don’t stretch or anything like that. Our schools are using Greatmats, so it’s where we get some of the rings from.”

Before its second annual national championship tournament, which hosted competitors from 10 states and two countries, the tournament invested in more new mats from Greatmats.

demonstration on Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament”Again another Lego piece that just fit,” Welch said. The Infinity National Championships which host competitors of all ages utilizes three different 1×1 meter Greatmats interlocking Martial Arts Mats – Pro Martial Arts Mats Sport 20 mm, Martial Arts Karate Mat Premium 1 inch, and Grappling MMA Mats 1 5/8 Inch.

”The thicker ones come from the schools,” Welch said. ”We spend a little bit more money so that the schools have the thicker mats. It’s a nicer product. The thinner ones are easier to buy in bulk, but they work fantastic. None of the competitors are complaining about them. They’re not slipping. The mats aren’t sliding. They’re not coming apart, so even the thin mats – they’re perfect for our venue.”

Infinity Martial Arts

flipping on Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts TournamentAfter more than a quarter century of training in martial arts, Welch is now adding jiu jitsu to his arsenal, but says, ”Punching and kicking – That’s my pastime.”

While tricking is a relatively new form of martial arts, the Infinity Martial Arts’ program is especially unique in the upper Midwest, and it has grown to include six Wisconsin-based schools – located in Middleton, Sun Prairie, Waunakee, Oregon, Fitchburg/Verona and Evansville.

”All of our instructors are competitors,” Welch said. ”They’ve been national and world champions. Our team is coming right out of our schools so that definitely sets us apart. We’re elite when it comes to that side of the sport.”

”Greatmats was a great addition to our tournaments, to our schools.”

Mike Welch
Infinity Martial Arts
Middleton WI 53562
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.
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Field Set for 2017 National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Contest

Greatmats Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award LogoMilltown, WI – Nine martial arts instructors from across the USA will face off in a friendly competition Nov. 16-30 as they vie for the title of 2017 Greatmats National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year. The contest, in its second year, is part of Greatmats 3rd Annual National Awards Series which honors instructors who have made positive impacts in their communities. The winner of the award will receive his/her choice of martial art mats or a cash option for his/her respective academy.

The public will have the opportunity to choose the two finalists for the award via a two-week social media vote on Greatmats Facebook page, starting Nov. 16.

This year’s nominees, hailing from eight different states, are:

 

Alabama

Renshi Lennis Darby of MajuKai Karate-Kobudo in Enterprise

Illinois

Master Ron Poholik of Pride Martial Arts in New Lenox

Kansas

Master Chip McClellan of Legacy ATA in Topeka

Minnesota

David Younglove of USA Karate in Rosemount

New Jersey

Vic Teran of International TKD Academy in Jersey City

South Dakota

Robin Buckingham of Buckingham’s Karate for Kids in Rapid City

Utah

Mike Tobin of Tobin’s Elite Academy of Martial Arts in Clearfield

Wisconsin

Robert Benton of World Martial Arts Academy in Muskego

Hanna Podbielski of Kettle Morain YMCA in West Bend

 

Learn more about the 2017 National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award at https://www.greatmats.com/martial-arts-mats/greatmats-national-martial-arts-instructor-of-the-year-contest.php

Through its National Award Series, Greatmats is also presenting awards to Dance Instructors, Cheerleading Coaches, Dog Trainers, Horse Trainers and Personal Trainers. Learn more about the National Award Series at https://www.greatmats.com/greatmats-national-instructor-of-the-year-awards-series.php

Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros – World Champion Competitor and Coach

Elite BJJ Competitor and MMA Coach Sets Foundation on Greatmats

By Brett Hart

Comprido BJJ Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros Greatmats Martial Arts MatsIn the world of Brazilan Jiu Jitsu, there aren’t many who’ve accomplished more than Rodrigo ”Comprido” Medeiros. A seven-time world champion and two-time world absolute black-belt champion, Comprido set two records in his 1999 IBJJF Absolute Black Belt World Championship final against then 3-time defending World Champion Roberto ”Roleta” Magalhaes.

BJJ Medal Comprido BJJ Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros GreatmatsComprido shocked the BJJ world by not only submitting Roleta, but doing it in just 18 seconds, marking the first ever submission at absolute black belt, and the 18-second fight is still the fastest submission in a black belt world championship final.

Both fighters went on to claim their fourth world titles the following year – Roleta in his weight class and Comprido in absolute.

Comprido’s dominance spilled over from the IBJJF to the CBJJO, where he claimed three more world titles over the next six years.

In 2006, Comprido, who also has background in judo, taekwondo and kickboxing, began training UFC fighters. Among those fighters was WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, who was looking to turn mixed martial arts into his third professional sport (football being the other).

Greatmats

rodrigo-grappling-matAfter Comprido guided Lesnar to a UFC Heavyweight title, Lesnar convinced Comprido to open his own academy, and in 2011, Comprido BJJ was born.

At that time Comprido discovered Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats and fell in love with their firmness, impact absorption and no-burn tatami surface.

Six years later, Comprido is still using Greatmats at his Academy, not just for flooring but for wall padding as well.

”One thing I like is that the mats are very firm,” Comprido said of his interlocking 1 5/8 inch thick Greatmats Grappling MMA mats. ”It doesn’t matter if I’m close to the seam or in the center of the mat. My foot doesn’t sink.”

That safety factor has been critical for his continued use of Greatmats Martial Arts Flooring.

Comprido BJJ Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros Greatmats Martial Arts Puzzle Mats”I’m in the business of teaching jiu jitsu,” he said. ”I’m not in the business to hurt people. If your foot sinks into the mat, that’s not good. Your foot will twist. I don’t want to have to worry if my student is going to get hurt on the mats.”

”It’s very important for the mats to be firm and make you stable where you can shoot any time you want to go. You can trust that your leg’s going to be in the right position – that your foot is going to be in the right position.”

”On top of that, the cushion is nice,” he added. ”You don’t get hurt when you do takedowns, but on the other hand, your foot doesn’t get stuck in there.”

The modular nature of the mats is also helpful from a design perspective, Comprido said, noting that you can make fight areas or rings in your academy that are highly visible.

Continued Prominence

Comprido BJJ Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros grappling Greatmats Martial Arts MatsComprido, who recently promoted Lesnar to his blue belt in BJJ, was also honored in is own right, being named No. 6 on the list of top 10 Ultra Heavyweight BJJ Fighters of All Time compiled by BJJ Heroes.

More than 20 years after winning his first world championship, Comprido still competes – in the Masters Division, and in March 2017, he was crowned the 2017 IBJJ PanAm Champion after defeating his good friend Viktor Doria who currently ranks No. 6 among male Master 2 black belts in the IBJJF rankings.

”I still fight because I like it,” Comprido said. ”I have nothing else to prove. Now my goal is helping other people to achieve their dreams.”

Notable Students of Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros

  • Brock Lesnar (former UFC Heavyweight Champion)
  • Demian Maia (ADCC World Champion, UFC Welterweight)
  • Cole Konrad (retired Bellator Heavyweight Champion, 2010-2012)
  • Caio Terra (11-time BJJ World Champion)
  • Roberto Traven (2-time BJJ World Champion)
  • Felipe Costa (2-time BJJ Black Belt World Champion, 4-time Master World Champion)
  • Pat Berry (UFC Heavyweight)
  • Chris Tuchscerer (UFC Heavyweight)
  • Mike Russow (Professional Mixed Martial Artist and Police Officer)
  • Jessica Buchman (BJJ World Champion)
  • Dean Lister (2-time ADCC Champion)

 

Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros
Comprido BJJ
Bloomingdale IL
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.
Ryoshin-Kan Karate School Shihan Tim Thompson Greatmats Martial Arts Mats

Sensei Tim Thompson – Ryoshin-Kan Karate

The Champion Spirit is inside all of us

Ryoshin-Kan Karate School and the Dragon Force National Karate Demo Team were established in 1980 by Sensei Tim Thompson. Ryoshin-Kan Karate School offers the Best Martial Arts Instruction to both Adults and Youth Seven Days a Week. Students are taught Martial Arts classes, both Sport and Traditional, in Karate-Do (empty hand defense), Kobudo (weapons), Kenjitsu (sword), Goshinjitsu (self-defense) and Tameshiwari (Breaking). Ryoshin-Kan also offers youth Karate Camps in the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
Ryoshin-Kan Karate School Tim Thompson Greatmats Martial Arts Mats
Dragon Force National Karate Demo Team from the Ryoshin-Kan Karate School is A World Class Karate Show Team that is Rated Number One and they performed Karate Shows at Professional & College Halftimes, Festivals, Tournaments and Special Events. Team Dragon Force has won 16 World & National Martial Arts Championships as well as being awarded ”Best National Karate Team of the Year” and they starred in the children’s action/adventure movie ”The Adventures of Dragon Force.” Team Dragon Force Rocked the America’s got Talent TV Show Audition and the Hampton Roads TV Show on WAVY 10 with Awesome Karate Performances. Ryoshin-Kan Karate School Shihan Tim Thompson Greatmats Martial Arts Mats

All Students are encouraged to develop a strong Champion Spirit that is inside all of us. It just needs to be exercised. To be a champion is not a simple matter of just wishing to become one. It is an endless commitment, sometimes lasting a lifetime. Nobody is born a champion, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average person. It is up to you to make yourself into one or the other. It starts with courage.

inspiring-martial-arts-tim-thompson-ryoshin-kan-2016

Aristotle said that ”Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.”

Following closely behind Courage is Perseverance, and it is the Key element that simply means to never quit. Remember that anyone can quit.

Commitment + Hard Work + Positive Spirit = Success.
Optimi Optimorum = Best of the Best.
These are the trademarks of True Champions and the Goals of every Ryoshin-Kan Karate School Student.

CDR Tim Thompson USNR Retirement Ceremony Karate Sensei GreatmatsBoth the Ryoshin-Kan Karate School and Dragon Force Demo Team were established in 1980 by their Founder and Chief Instructor, Sensei Tim Thompson. He is an 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master, 5 Times Hall of Famer, Retired Decorated Navy Commander, World and National Karate Champion.

(Ryoshin-Kan Karate School and the Dragon Force National Karate Demo Team use Greatmats Pro Martial Arts Mats Sport 20mm.)

Greatmats Pro Martial Arts Mats installed in Ryoshin-Kan Karate School
Tim Thompson
Ryoshin-Kan Karate
Virgina Beach VA 23452
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.

Shihan Eric Swick – Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts

Hall-Of-Fame Martial Arts Instructor Changing Lives on Greatmats

By Brett Hart

A friend’s invitation to attend a martial arts class at the age of 12 changed Eric Swick’s life. Now 41, Swick is a 5th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate-Do, 3rd degree black belt in Renzoku Jiu-Jitsu, 3rd degree black belt in Dragon Kenpo, 1st degree black belt in Judo and the owner of Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts academy in Grafton, West Virginia where he also trains in Kobudo and Arnis.

Dragons Den MMA Eric Swick Greatmats

Shihan Swick began his martial arts journey in 1988 under Sensei Dave Burner in Shotokan Karate, Aikido and Arnis and now includes Jiu-Jitsu and Kobudo into his primarily lineup of disciplines.

Real Life Experience

While martial artists train to be prepared for the unthinkable, most never need it. Unfortunately, he has, and it saved his life.

Ten years ago while working as a correctional officer in a United States Penitentiary, Swick was sucker punched by an inmate with a 7-inch shank and ended up being stabbed 13 times while trying to control the attack.

”If it wasn’t for God and my training, I do believe I would not be here today,” Swick said. ”The most horrific thing that I have ever seen is looking into another man’s eyes that was just a few inches away from me that really wanted to kill me. … There is no kind of training that can prepare you for that reality.”

Pushing Forward

Dragons Den MMA Grafton West Virginia Greatmats

The life-changing experience, inspired the Swick to focus more of his time and energy to helping others.

”You win, or you learn. You never lose,” he said. ”If you have the right attitude, there is no such thing as truly losing. Defeat, or losing, is only possible when you give up and quit. Defeat is a state of mind, not a reality. You, and only you, determine whether you lose or whether you had a temporary setback from which you learned more and became stronger. You do not play karate; you study it.”

In 2010, he was named to the Martial Arts Legend Hall of Fame and named the Sensei of the Year by the United States Black Belt Hall of Fame. He is also a two-time Hall of Fame instructor both Jiu-Jitsu and Karate and a Hall of Fame MMA instructor.

Dragons Den MMA Grafton West Virginia Greatmats

With all he’s accomplished, Swick says his biggest accomplishment is seeing his students become teachers of the arts, putting their martial arts training to work in the dojo and their everyday lives, overcoming their fears and becoming adults with success stories.

”I want my students to have the ‘I can, and I will’ attitude,” Swick said. That includes his wife and two kids, who train with him.

While Swick did not compete much early on, his academy has a successful competition team that competes at local tournaments as well as the USA-National Karate-do Federation and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

Discovering Greatmats
Swick was impressed by the Greatmats martial arts flooring used at one tournament attended and looked up Greatmats on the web.

He soon ordered Greatmats’ Wood Grain/Black reversible Martial Arts Premium 1 Inch Karate Mats and loves the way they look and perform while enduring classes five days per week.

Dragons Den MMA Grafton West Virginia Greatmats Karate Mats

In 2015, Swick co-founded the Warriors United Tournament Circuit, a growing tournament point circuit open to all styles that includes competitors from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio.

”Tell you the truth, it’s just a great bunch of martial artists having a good time,” Swick said of Warriors United.

So happy with his Greatmats martial arts flooring, Swick and his Warriors United co-founders opted to equip each of their tournament rings with Greatmats flooring as well.

”They’re very tough, and the feel is great,” Swick said.

Warriors United Greatmats sponsored logo

Shihan Eric Swick
Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts
http://www.dragonsdenmma.org
Grafton WV 26354

For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.
Adamson Karate Studios Black Belt testing Greatmats Karate Mats

Three Generations of Black Belts, Adamsons Building Karate Dynasty

Martial Arts Inspiring Story – Janice Adamson – Adamson Karate Studios

Adamson Karate Studios Janice Adamson Greatmats Karate MatsHello my name is Janice Adamson I am part of Adamson Karate Studios out of Indianapolis Indiana. Douglas Adamson is my husband.

We started our karate business in June of 1977. We bought out a bankrupt martial arts school on the south side of the city. It only took 6 months to turn it around, and we moved to a bigger location. We now serve the Indianapolis area with 7 locations!!

You might ask how we can man 7 locations? Well, when we started, it was just my husband and I. We raised 4 sons in the martial arts business. All of them became black belts as well as excellent instructors. Each one of us has a passion about what we do and and love to share this passion with the students we are lucky to have come in the door. Time has raced by and in that time our sons married well!! That is they are married to Black Belts as well.

Adamson Karate Studios instructors Greatmats Karate Mats

Everyone of us work in the family business. In 2015 we hired 3 of our grandchildren to also join in the business. My husband and I have 9 grandchildren; 7 are Black Belts; 2 are still too small too reach that level. There is no doubt that that will happen in the future though.

Adamson Karate Studios Janice Adamson Karate Family Greatmats Karate Mats

We have 3 state level tournaments every year as well as compete in AAU Karate. We have been in the top 3 schools at the AAU Nationals for the past 5 years.

Our students have traveled all over the world to compete. This summer we will travel to Ireland with a large team from Adamson Karate Studio. Over the years, we touched a lot of lives in very positive ways. Leadership is big with us; our students excel at it. I can’t imagine how many we have had over the years but I can say there weren’t too many that I wasn’t proud of.

Back in the late eighties we taught karate classes to kids as well as adults. Most Dojo owners back then only taught adults, thinking kids were not strong enough for the rigorous classes they would teach. Mostly they didn’t want to teach kids.

Adamson Karate Studios kids karate class Greatmats Karate Mats

Our children had to go to work with us. We couldn’t leave them home. We even had a class for them, and others came as well (from the group of adults who also had kids) took class in the dojo.

One day, we decided to have a kids karate tournament with small awards given. We advertised in the local paper. Little did we know who would read that add.

I was at work early one day and two men walked in and introduced themselves as being the representatives of Columbia Pictures! They had a idea to share with me. They had heard about the tournament we had just had and wanted to sponsor the next one we had because they wanted to brake in a new movie they were making ”The Karate Kid,” We did did the tournament as well as demos in every theater where it was showing in the Indianapolis area.

Our school grew so much from just this one visit from Columbia Pictures. We have tournaments each year since then. … We use Greatmats for all our tournaments as well as schools.

Adamson Karate Studios Black Belt testing Greatmats Karate Mats

Janice Adamson
Adamson Karate Studios
Zionsville IN 46077
For more on this topic please review our Karate Mats & Striking Arts Mats product page.

Josh Mancuso – Becoming BJJ

This isn’t a hobby where you can buy way to the top

By Brett Hart

”I’ve been doing this so long and frequently that I am BJJ,” Louisiana BJJ black belt Josh Mancuso says. ”I can’t imagine not training.”

Josh Mancuso Grappling BJJ Greatmats

In addition to being a first degree black belt in BJJ, Mancuso also holds a brown belt in judo, owns the academy JM Modern Jiu Jitsu, works in outside sales for a large corporation and coaches his athletes in competition. At the recent Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation New Orleans BJJ Championships, Mancuso led 35 competitors from Soul Fighters Louisiana to a overall team title. Two-hundred nine points separated his squad from the runner up team in a field in which nearly 60 teams recorded points.
Josh Mancuso podium AGF New Orleans BJJ Championships Greatmats

Motivated by the satisfaction of seeing his students and himself improve, Mancuso said, ”I’ve got a bunch of medals – all special in their own way. However, the life lessons, growth and friendships I’ve gained through the sport are by far my largest accomplishments.”

As a coach, Mancuso enjoys taking his athletes to AGF events.

”Their customer service is what sets them apart from all other organizations,” Manucso said.

With some background in wrestling, boxing and MMA, Mancuso now trains under Bruno Tanque Mendes and Rafael Formiga Barbosa, and his 14-year-old daughter has also joined in the training process.

”The fact that you can’t fake it,” is Mancuso’s favorite part of BJJ. ”The mats always speak the truth. In many hobbies, you can buy yourself to the top – not this.”

Josh Mancuso with BJJ instructors Greatmats

Josh Mancuso JM Modern Jiu Jitsu Greatmats

To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes and coaches visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.

Josh Mancuso
JM Modern Jiu Jitsu
Baton Rouge LA 70809
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.