About the author


Gumby is the co-founder of OntheMat.com back in 1997 with Scotty Nelson.


Rockson Gracie Tribute

By Gumby / January 18, 2021

Rockson Gracie was the oldest child of Rickson Gracie. I think few people I have known have had so bright a spotlight on themselves at such a young age, but I think it can also be said that Rockson Gracie radiated that energy right back.  Unfortunately the fire that burns twice as hot often lasts half […]


RIP Paul “the Polar Bear” Varlens

By Gumby / January 17, 2021

RIP Paul Varlens, early NHB pioneer passed away due to Covid-19 complications today. He actually lived in the South Bay Area during his fighting career and our paths crossed a few times. Funny story, but I’ve never asked anyone for their autograph EVER, but I wound up asking for one from Paul. Thought I would […]


Dave Camarillo Highlight Video

By Gumby / January 17, 2021

Dave Camarillo is an American Pioneer of Jiu Jitsu, and was really the first American to come into Jiu Jitsu with a very high level of competitive judo as well. Aside from being a Hero to a lot of us of the early era of Jiu Jitsu in America, you can say he contributed and […]


Matt Serra Grappling Highlights

By Gumby / January 17, 2021

Matt Serra should be included on the list of American pioneers of Jiu Jitsu. He is Renzo Gracie’s FIRST American Black belt and although he sport BJJ / Sub Grappling career was short, he trained in the era there wasn’t as fine of a line between sport and fight. But aside from being among the […]


Gumby’s Column: The Ways Jiu Jitsu has changed my life

By Gumby / September 6, 2016

I’m writing this on my 20th anniversary of my own appearance on a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu mat, and on the eve of a new Fundamentals cycle at my gym Heroes Martial Arts preparing for an influx of new students and I am reflecting on all the ways that Jiu Jitsu has changed my life and […]


Gumby’s Column: Some thoughts on Olympic Judo (from an American BJJ’er)

By Gumby / August 9, 2016

*I watch the Olympics because I love grappling. I will be following Judo and Wrestling in part for my own enjoyment, in part because I understand and appreciate the hard work and sacrifices these athletes make and partly because I am trying to learn.   *That being said, I recognize that the Olympics Judo and […]


Gumby’s Column: Fight to Win Pro Thoughts

By Gumby / July 24, 2016

I have been to many events over the years, but I think what the promoters of Fight to Win bring to the table is unique and exciting. The idea is create a huge card, over 20 matches in all largely showcasing local talent with a couple of super fights, give everyone the rock star treatment, […]


Gumby’s Column: My Least Favorite Thing Ever

By Gumby / July 12, 2016

At the risk of sounding like the crotchety old man telling the kids to get off my mat, I have to get this off my chest: As much as I like an informal environment at my own gym (Heroes Martial Arts), I really only have three rules I rigorously enforce:   1: Display Common Courtesy […]


Garry Tonon & Gordon Ryan Seminar – Heroes Martial Arts

By Gumby / July 12, 2016

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/garry-tonon-gordon-ryan-seminar-heroes-martial-arts-tickets-26511810539?aff=es2 Gordon Ryan and Garry Tonon are black belts under Tom Deblass & John Danaher, based out of New York City. They are known for their submission oriented style on the biggest stages from ADCC, Polaris, EBI, and Gracie Nationals, and now Fight to WIN. The Danaher Death Squad members are excited to be back […]


Gumby’s Back!

By Gumby / July 7, 2016

“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. “ Muhammad Ali I have more than a few more years before I get to 50, but the quote above is still applicable. Heck, I don’t view the world the same way now […]

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