Thursday, February 28, 2013

Barack Obama Gets Down With The Gentle Art!..Or Does He??

We may never see Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the Olympics but can you imagine it in the White House?? BOSS at the executive level!! Yes, Teddy Roosevelt trained as a boxer, was taught Judo by Yamashita himself and learned Japanese Jujutsu from a police officer who studied the art in Japan. Bad ass to say the least!
In the above video the young man bears a serious resemblance to our president and he has the Obama strut down! Thanks to our brethren at 
Gracie Barra Burbank and Prof. Alberto Crane for the video and the laughs!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Brazilian Santa Makes An Early Stop At Codella Christmas Party!

Last month the Codella Academy Family got together for our annual Christmas Party. The hosts, Mrs. Rita Codella and Prof. Mike Codella transformed our spacious facility into a casual and comfy winter wonderland. The team was in full force, accompanied by family and friends. It was great to see everyone mingling, catching up with one another, and in typical Codella fashion, busting each others chops! The laughs, positive energy and holiday spirit were palpable and flowing abundantly throughout the evening. I must give a huge shout out to one of the event's caterers, our very own Big Joe Terranova, for the delicious entrees he prepared!
Traditionally Prof. Codella will take the opportunity to promote a select few to their next rank at the annual event. That evening was particularly special because a whole platoon of our warriors were promoted! A total of 27 teammates were slapped with their new belts; the procession being kicked off by the Professor's son, and my favorite assistant coach, Santino Codella earning his green belt. In all, there were six brown belts, eleven purple belts and nine blue belts promoted. I truly believe that this unique graduation ceremony is a testament to the continual growth and  technical skill development of our fine academy; commencing with the exceptional quality of instruction imparted by our esteemed Professor and the hard charging, non slacking warriors that bring it day in and day out on the mats at Codella Academy. Undoubtedly, steel sharpens steel!

The belt recipients listed by rank and in alphabetical order are as follows:

Brown Belt- 1. Ramy Awad   2. Will Couchon    3. Mark Feliccia     4. Mike Katz
                    5. Joe Peteroy   6. Mike Sipolo

  Purple Belt- 1. Ashley Aston  2. Cesar Brenes    3. Bobby Brown    

                      4. Anton Lischenko   5. Albert Medina    6. Mike Mongelli   

                     7. John Norman    8. Sam Rivera   9. Nick Scianna   10. Dane St. Cyr  

                    11. Joe Terranova

 Blue Belt   1. Mike Bartolo  2. Mike Cresci  3. Jose Fortuna   4. Dean Kiel
                     5. Jason Incardone  6. Eric Serrano  7. Scott Schulman 

                    8. George Sukkarieh     9. Anthony Tosca     

Green BeltSantino Codella         

Prof. Gerry Fajardo, Bobby, Prof. Mike Codella, Joe T. Nick. 

Eric, Jose, Scott, Anthony, Albert & Jason.
Will & Prof. Codella.
Anthony, Bobby, Joe P., Joe T., Mike Mongelli & Albert.
Big Al & Ramy.
Carl, Big Joe T. & Pete.
Hawaii Mike Sipolo & Prof. Codella
Anthony Tosca, Mike Katz, Prof. Codella, Mike Sipolo, John Norman, Mike Bartolo & Jimmy Kelly (rear)
Me and Prof.  Mike Codella
 Congratulations to all who were promoted! Now let's get back to the grind and work hard to achieve all of our BJJ goals!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year, Codella Family!

                                           Video- A Sink The Choke Production

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 2012 Updates

I saw this cool video on the Roots of Fight website, which besides having some cool apparel, also has excellent videos on Mike Tyson, Black House Team, the Gracie Jiu Jitsu Influence, and more here. 
I recently started as an assistant coach of the kid's classes on Thursdays and as my mind wandered about how I would best approach this responsibility, Mike spoke to me! CONFIDENCE! It reminded me that I should have trust and confidence in the training I received from Prof. Codella and all the excellent instructors at our academy. Rely on my varied experience working with kids in the NYC special education system; sheez, if one can survive that, this should be a walk in the park!! More importantly, the biggest challenge and primary goal for me will be to instill confidence in our young students and make the experience of learning this wonderful art a fun and uplifting experience!!

Congratulations to our boy Jose Brandt who took first place  at NAGA Hartford, CT this past weekend!!
    Congratulations to our fearless leader, Prof. Mike Codella, on his promotion to second degree black belt by Master Renzo Gracie on Friday 6/29/12. We are all very proud of you Professor!! Oss..
 *(Photos from FaceBook. I'll post more (better) pics when they become available.)

**I've added some more technique videos on YouTube which you can access through the link in left column of this blog. 


Friday, April 27, 2012

Saulo Says, Sit On This Cancer!!

I saw this picture on Saulo Ribeiro's Facebook page, the actual heading read, FUCK YOU, CANCER! and was pleasantly shocked! I even commented on his page, "Hell Yeah!!..Badass at the highest level!" He has been raising awareness and funds to help out one of his young female students who is battling ovarian cancer. Her name is Seana Rossi and she is a purple belt training out of Canada. It's awesome to have a huge name in the game like Prof. Ribeiro showing his support not only by putting together a benefit seminar but also shaving off all his hair for the cause!! 
Around this time, thanks to one our teammates Anthony Balestrieri, I came across a Facebook page,Tap Cancer Out. It's a non profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It is founded and run by Jon Thomas, who is also a purple belt training out Connecticut. In addition to selling gear, t;hey have put together their first BJJ tournament, scheduled for tomorrow 4/28/12 in CT and they have provided an excellent opportunity for grapplers to compete for a cause at a ridiculously low cost:  $30 for one division  $50 for two. I wanted to show support as well and I ordered a cool patch and tee shirt from them. These experiences helped spawn the idea to purchase some Tap Cancer Out gear to raffle off at our academy. With Prof. Mike Codella's blessing we were all set to put this good work into action.
As fate would have it, life, likewise in jiu jitsu, has a way of testing us and compelling us to persevere and adapt. This horrible disease has hit home brothers, and hit hard! 
One of our young guns in the teen class has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and lymphoma. John has been a part of Team Codella for many years.
John and his mother have had an already tough road made that much tougher with this recent development . Codella Academy will be running a raffle but now this cause has a name and a face.  And it's one of our own, a loyal and valued member of the Codella Family. Time to rally around this young man and his mother. Let's pitch in what we can, donate all that we can! 
I'll close out echoing Prof. Saulo Ribeiro's sentiment, "FUCK YOU, CANCER!!"

*For those of you who may not know Prof. Ribeiro, he is a multiple world champion and is the older brother of  multiple world champion Xande Ribeiro. He authored probably the best BJJ book ever, a must have, Jiu Jitsu University, which is also the name of his academy in San Diego, CA. Here is a cool video of him teaching another well known BJJ black belt Roy Dean
                                 "Jiu Jitsu is a life long journey.." Saulo Ribeiro  

Jiu Jitsu brought young John into our fold. Let us keep him and his mother in our thoughts and prayers and let us all collectively be a shining example of strength, community and brotherly love from which to drawn on throughout his journey.  Osss!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Academy Technique Videos on YouTube..Roger Gracie May Approve This Message!!

While I haven't been posting on here in a while, I have been updating the pics on the Cam and uploading videos of class techniques and sparring sessions on YouTube. All the videos start with the title "Codella Academy:.." to make searching for them a little easier or you can help out by returning here and clicking the first link on the left under Suggested Sites, Codella Academy Technique Videos. I'll try to get class techniques uploaded within a day or two.  Clearly the intent here was to have viable resource available to the members for reviewing class material. Some of you may remember me carrying around a notebook during class, trying to write down all moves. I still have the notes but it certainly not a viable, let alone legible, resource!!
Important Note: If anyone wishes not to have their pictures/video images posted online, or their full names mentioned online, PLEASE, let me know.  I want to respect everyone's right to privacy. 
Also, if you would like to videotape a roll or a boxing sparring session for self analysis, by all means let me know or leave word with Prof. Codella and if I can't record it myself,  I will leave the video recorder at the academy for you to utilize. (It's a Flip Mino that's very simple to use & upload to Youtube and records HD quality.) Lastly, if you would like to request a specific technique that you're having trouble with or can't remember all the details to, be added to the technique channel, let me know via email (, Facebook, or leave message at the academy and I will coordinate with Prof. Codella to videotape the requested technique.

I've added this video interview of Roger Gracie, done by our Gordo BJJ family, BJJ Hacks, because he discusses the issue of learning Jiu Jitsu from You Tube videos and how it may hurt your game, as well as few other pearls of wisdom. So sit back and absorb the knowledge, hopefully you'll be inspired and broaden your understanding of this beautiful art. In case you're wondering what the heck is a "Berimbolo", for the sake of this "lesson" I'll contradict the present objective, and provide a video of the berimbolo technique for clarification purposes!!
**Roger Gracie was not contacted for his seal of approval but I strongly believe that he would have no objections to learning directly from your own qualified instructor. Reminds me of something Coach Chez Budgell once told me, "everything you need to improve and advance in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and now the striking arts, is all right here at our academy." I have to agree. Osss!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday News: Asylum Fights, Mike 2K's 2nd Bout, Academy Page & Abu Dhabi Pros!

Road Trip!! Oh yeah... It's on! On Saturday March 10th, 2012, Codella Academy will rolling deep to Atlantic City to support our fighters, Ramy Awad, Mark Feliccia and Mike Hanrahan as they gear up to bring their all in the Asylum cage. These three warriors, all coming off tough losses, are itching to get in there and take it to the next level. Prof. Codella feels confident that they're all working diligently to tighten up the holes in their games and if they play to their individual strengths, it will help them settle down more in the cage. There are four weeks remaining until fight night, so the hard sparring, weight cutting, mental challenges are in full effect! Let's continue to encourage our brothers during this tough phase and especially on March 10th!! Check in with the fighters or Prof. Codella for tickets, regular admission is $55. 
Click here for the complete fight card.

Here is the video of Mike Hanrahan's second Golden Gloves match which took place on Jan 31st, 2012. It was a very close decision that required the judges to tally up the total punch counts to decide the winner! Excellent job by Mike to venture into a completely different fight game and put forth a commendable effort.
There's no doubt that this valuable experience will be carried into the Asylum cage in Atlantic City!!

Not sure if you all are aware of this tournament but it is one of the very, very few that pays out cash prizes. This competition should not be confused with the well known Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) submission grappling event that takes place every two years. The Abu Dhabi Pros is open to all levels and the first, second, and third place winners receive prizes. Also, thirteen of the first place winners receive an all expenses paid trip to compete against the many other trials winners at the World Pro Jiu Jitsu Cup on April 13-15, 2012. The trials will be held on Sunday March 11, 2012 in Flushing, NY. 
This is a Gi tournament. For those that were interested in competing at the NY International Open in April this can be an excellent opportunity to help you prepare for it. For more information click on the link in the comps section on the right.

Last but by no means least, Prof. Codella has created an official Academy page on Facebook. He has started  posting comments and adding pics and hopes to cover all the bases in keeping us all informed with academy news and updates. Presently, this is may prove to be a wee bit difficult because as of this posting, the page only has 15 likes!! Please help spread the word within the Codella Family and of course to rest of the BJJ community. The page title and link is: Codella Academy Team Renzo Gracie

P.S.- A huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to my Codella Academy Family for helping to get Cageside at Codella's to over 5,000 page views!! Gracias, mis hermanos!