Hi, I’m Gumby, and you might remember me from such sites as this one….

Resolution for 2011:  Write/Post something on OntheMat at least once a week.

Hi, I’m Alan Marques, but my friends call me Gumby, and you might remember me from such websites as this one. 

Actually, despite my lower profile lately, I’m one of the founders of OTM.

From 1997 to 2008 I posted content on a daily basis.  I wrote a large majority of that content myself (even if it’s not always attributed to me, I often wrote it), and screened and edited most of the contributions to the site.   I actively travelled around the country and around the world to cover Jiu Jitsu and MMA.  It was a definite labor of love and afforded me a great amount of opportunities that have been documented (and many more that have been left off the record).  I have been called the spokesman for Jiu Jitsu in America by a number of people, and have also been dubbed the conscience of Jiu Jitsu, neither title I take lightly. 

11 years is a long time to be doing anything, and as much as I loved doing it, sometimes you need to take a break or shift your focus to keep from getting burnt out.  With some of the ongoing projects involving the OTM brand, with the new website format which allows for a lot more contributions and less input from me I took a step back.  I started OTM with Scotty when we were white belts, now as a black belt under a very prestigious instructor (Ralph Gracie), I opened up my own academy in downtown San Jose called Heroes Martial Arts.  In two years it’s grown into one of Northern California’s bigger schools and I’m happy to be on the mat there every day.

Time may or may not bring wisdom, but it certainly gives you a different perspective on things.  Going from student to instructor definitely gives you a different viewpoint.  Two things I’ve realized is that I’ve been extremely fortunate in my life, and despite what I’ve accumulated in knowledge that I’ve still got a lot to learn. 

I’ve still got a lot to say as well, and I have the bully pulpit of OntheMat, among the first and still the best resources in the world to do it with.  I don’t know if I feel like an authority and my views are certainly not definitive, my I’ve got a lot of experience in the game now and have always been considered reasonably articulate.  More importantly I feel like I have that fire back again and I want to be writing more.  I hope you enjoy and pick up something worthwhile at least once in awhile.

If you remember me, then let me just say I never really went anywhere, but I’m definitely back. 

If you have no idea who I am, even better, because that just gives me a chance to start fresh and show what I’m really all about.

Your friend,



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About the author


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