BUDDHASPORT.COM sat down with Yoga professional John Levis of INJOYYOGA.COM. John filled us in on the importance of Yoga for athletes of all sports, especially action sports. To ask John a question you may reach him through his website injoyyoga.com.
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Sean "Shorty Rock" Santella is a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter. He currently sports an a 11-3 record with 8 submission victories. Santella is a Jamie Cruz black belt, the same instructor who honored, Dan and Jim Miller with their black belts. "Shorty Rock" fights out of AMA Fight Club located in Whippany NJ.
Buddhasport.com followed the 125 pound fighter around for a day to show the fans the kind of hours MMA fighters put in to their training. Santella had a fight coming up a week after filming so we had to leave some scenes out for training secrets, but most of you can get a feel for what he goes through on an average day.
The day started with Strength and Conditioning at 9:30 am then didn't end until he got home from his last MMA training session 9:30 pm. Shorty is waiting for his call to fight in the UFC. A call that may only be, one victory away.
After spending the day with Santella we can see the drive, focus and dedication he has to becoming a top ranked professional fighter and champion. We have no doubts that Santella will be fighting in the UFC very soon.
Buddhasport.com's Ayanthi Gunawardana sat down with BJJ World Champion Rafael Lovato Jr. Lovato is one of the few Americans to have won the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships as a black belt. He discusses his thoughts on the direction of jiu jitsu, his aspirations in MMA, his path to black belt success, and more.
In life we hear many stories of inspiring people, but it’s rare that you actually get to meet one. Actually forget rare, let’s consider it lucky. I had the pleasure of meeting such a man. Ironically enough this man, who inspired me to see life through a new lense, is visually impaired. This is the story of Otis Kerr.
Otis was born without vision in one eye and unfortunately became blind in the other eye due to a childhood accident at the age of 10. Obviously, if you’re reading this article, you can’t even wrap your head around what it would be like to wake up tomorrow without the ability to see. Think about it. How would you commute to work? How would you attend school? How would you cook or simply go to the grocery store to shop for ingredients to cook with? Really think about the magnitude of how your life would change. Otis lives everyday, and has been living this way the majority of his life, with little assistance from anyone.
I had the pleasure of spending the day with this amazing man and, at most times, completely forgot he was unable to see. I was so surprised at how easily and effortlessly Otis went about his daily tasks without the use of his sense of sight. When we asked him about how difficult it is to not have one of the five major senses, he replied simply that he relies more on the senses he does have instead.
How does a blind man enter into a career you might ask. Well, at the age of about 16, Otis had been told he “had good hands” and decided to become a masseuse. Out of his lack of ability to see came his ability of heightened touch. Now Otis is a massage therapist at Elements Massage in Cranford, New Jersey. He does various types of massage including deep tissue, prenatal, swedish and shiatsu.
Otis, himself, had once been a wrestler. As a high school freshman, his record was an impressive 4-0. That’s why he knows how important massage is to athletes. He treated me to some of the techniques he would apply during a sports massage including tappotment and compressions. He stressed how important it is to warm up the muscles before a massage the same way you would before working out, so they have fresh oxygen and move freely. As an athlete myself, continuing to compete in the sport of jiu-jitsu, I too know the importance of massage. I like to get one every week leading up to a competition. It can reduce swelling, stiffness, fatigue and muscle tension. Massage promotes recovery and can lead to an increase range of motion when done regularly. It also helps to improve circulation and flexibility.
Touch is his gift, but not his only gift. Just when I thought he couldn’t possibly impress me any more than he had, he pulled out the turn-tables and started spinning. Otis goes by the name of D.J. Blind Wonder. Whatever he can’t see, he definitely makes up for with touch. I consider Otis Kerr to be an extremely tenacious and successful individual. I think we can all learn a lot from him. One of his goals is to learn to cross-country ski.