Training with a champion (or two)


Training with former UFC Champion Carlos “Ronin” Newton, KAPAP instructor and Aiki Kenpo Jujitsu 7th-dan Avi Nardia (not pictured), me and 9th-dan Hanshi Patrick McCarthy.

It’s one thing to ground and pound with fellow martial artists, it’s quite the other to have a former UFC Champion teaching you the ropes.

Last week I had the immense pleasure of being instructed by some of the finest minds in the marital arts world, starting with Hanshi Patrick McCarthy, KAPAP founder and Aiki Kenpo Jujutsu Avi Nardia, and former UFC champion Carlos “Ronin” Newton.

Humble, kind, and intelligent, Newton’s passion for the martial arts is absolutely endearing. Literally, for that alone and talent aside, his attitude and generosity in teaching has made me a fan. It’s clear whenever he speaks about a technique or “style,” there is a genuine joy and appreciation for the art. Between Newton and Nardia, there were discussions of sparring distance, “the third arm” (in which one finds balance or imbalance), and determining one’s safety zone.

On the other hand, Hanshi McCarthy is a man of many words and even more wisdom and knowledge to support it. His historical mastery coupled with innate comprehension of the physical demonstrations and applications of kata is always refreshing. Whether it is a technique or series of movements within a kata, Hanshi’s explanations of practical applications is concise and most importantly, makes sense.

A long five days cut short (into three, very brief paragraphs), it was a blast.

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