Clubkozak-Pancrase Montreal
News and updates


I had a great opportunity to be able to train with the pro-fighters of the Pancrase affiliated fighters. These fighters are under the group the name Pancrasism.

Their training started at 12 noon. It started off with light warm up, the 2-3 rounds 3 min shadow boxing. From there, we did takedown entries, back and forth( you go-he goes). Then came the main, sparring. It was 5 min. rounds with 30 sec(!) breaks. You went with as many as possible. The day I was there was grappling( from stand-up…yes!!) those having a match soon did MMA sparring.

From there, we did a circuit training. Circuit was sprawls-jumping lunges with weights-get ups with weights-box jumps(done on ring). This was done 2-3 times. Then was abs. Crunches and hip raises with feet on wall. We finished off with weight on back and doing static push-up holds and modified push-ups.

ImageCircuit training

We cooled down and ended of with meditation.

ImagePancrasism fighters and me

What I like about training here is that the gym is simple, just like Club Kozak. No high-tech ,in-style training facility. Their tools are simple, but the heart and spirit is very strong. I find that people get entranced with in-fashion and intricate gyms, when the simplistic ones can offer the most.


Several weeks ago I read and article in the Globe&Mail entitled ” It’s time to shed the tyranny of dieting-losing weight is a losing battle” I was quite disappointed in the message that any attempt in trying to lose weight is useless. This message in a national newspaper is what fuels many people in thinking negatively about an attempt to lose some weight.

I did agrees with the point that the media does play a dominating role in pursuading people to loose weight. But the main problem is that most people take extreme measures to loose the weight, as in following rediculous and potentially dangerous diet and exercise plans.

The best thing, as I preach and teach, is to take things in small steps. The saying goes: “One must walk before one runs.” I add: “one must crawl before one walks!” This is to mean that we should make small, short-term REALISTIC goals for ourselves. That includes eating well AND exercising correctly for oneself.

It is too bad to read this and other articles(in the same newspaper saying even exercise is dangerous!) giving negative feedback to people trying their best in getting into better shape and more healthy. I am afraid that people will read such articles and give up and say: ” Well, you see! It’s hopeless to lose weight, so it’s not my fault I’m getting fatter!”

As I tell all my students: ” Don’t give up. Progress will come eventually with persistence!”


2012 is upon us and most of us have made our resolutions. Should one decide to make a resolution, one should keep it. A resolution, which can be made any time within the year!, should be kept, just as one should keep promises towards others.

Why do most resolutions give-up? Well some are just un-realistic, while most are not planned out well enough. If one wants to get in shape, one should do some research on what we really are looking for, and not to expect quick results. Patience! Make smaller goals more often, than one big lofty goal. You’ll be happier!

All the bets in training and life!!


  Most people I come across in daily life will tell me all about their financial investments they made, how much they earned etc… When I ask them if they train or exercise, they say they have no time, or no money (ha!).
No time? These people will spend hours in front of their computer, researching the best stocks and reviewing their financial porfolios. I say, what’s the point of investing in all that money if one’s health will be poor in the future?
No money? People have gotten their priorities wrong. They want to make more money, but forget about their health. They figure some pill or surgery is all they need for their problems. I’ve seen people take better care of their cars than their own bodies.

One should look at one’s health as another investment. One should spend some time and money on getting in better shape and following a healthier lifestyle. By investing in one’s health, you’ll be able to enjoy the weath your earning.   One has to remember, you can’t take your money with you after you die.


I’ve recently read certain popular martial art trainers claim that training with a Gi (or Kurtka in my case) is out dated and has no practical use. They also say that no gi training has more practicality for real life self-defense situations. Bold statements.
The recent decline in Gi training has come from the booming popularity of MMA. People see MMA matches and assume training with the Gi is useless. If one only wants to concentrate in competition no-Gi or MMA only, then perhaps training with the Gi might not be necessary. Myself at our gym, we train Submission Wrestling that is with out Gi. I think training both ways is important.
I believe training with the Gi is an utmost importance if one wants to train for self-defense. “We don’t wear these type of jackets, so they’re not real!” I hear this often. My response, of course I don’t walk on the street with my Kurtka (although it would be cool!) it is a training tool for reality self-defense training. Especially living in a cold climate area, we start wearing jackets in the fall. On learns how to use the collar, sleeves and belt area as means of control, and learn several choking techniques not possible without the Gi.
So why wear a Gi? Well if I would wear another jacket, I would have to replace it every week, as it will get ripped during training. Gis usually don’t rip in training.

So my final point is that it is too bad that people dismay training with the Gi as useless. Rather it is an essential tool for reality based self-defense training.


“Do you recommend any supplements Coach to help me in my training?” I get this question from my Combat Sambo/MMA students and fitness clients several times a year. I think its time to express my opinion on them.

Supplements, like religion, is a very personal thing. We all have different views and beliefs  . Some swear by supplements, while others swear at them. In the end, it’s really one’s own choice to use them or not.

Walking into a supplement store can cause much confusion

Like many things in life, there are some good things and some bad. The same with supplements. The main problem is that many people are looking for that quick and easy answer to their dilemma, rather than seriously looking into a more plausible, but more than often a solution that takes more time and dedication.

Gaining weight. Now that’s an easy one, fat that is! People that want to put on more muscle mass end up spending a crap load of cash on really useless stuff. There are gainers, pre-workout, during workout, post-workout, blah, blah, blah supplements. If one would take all those, you’d need a savings account just for that. Eat good food AND train sensible!

Losing weight. Fat burners. Special ingredients that will melt off your fat. If you really want to burn off that fat without proper diet AND exercise, stick yourself in a microwave on high for 2 minutes, it’ll do the trick (not sure if you’ll survive thought).

Supplement companies feed off those that are looking for the quicker solution. Yes, there are some good companies out there, but many more that make cheaper versions, potentially causing more harm than good. Every time one looks at those supplement ads, we end up thinking: “damn! I need that stuff too! Johnny BuffBones uses it, so should I!!” don’t forget..more than likely Johnny Buffbones uses “something” else too.

I’m not going to go into all the supplements and give reviews. Do a proper reasearch, and really ask yourself: “do I really need it?” Find out if it can really aid you, or is it just a bunch of fancy chemical names that really mean nothing.

Supplements are just that, they should not replace REAL food, but be used intelligently to supplement one's diet


Here is one workout that I use for myself and coach others to do. It is a workout that uses kettlebells and bodyweight exercises. It can be done 2-3 x week or as I do, once a week , while doing different workouts the rest of the week.

I am using heavier KBs for lower reps. Should one not have heavy KBs, do higher reps.

1) KB Cleans:

I find 2-hand cleans with kettlebells and excellent exercise for combat sports, especially for stand-up wrestling. Do 2 sets of 5-8 reps.

KB clean start

KB clean finish

2) Close-Grip Chins:

Using a close grip has more usefullness for combat, as it is a common position we encounter in fighting. We rarely pull opponents with a wide grip. At the bottom (arms extented) make sure you fully stretch out one’s arm, staying for 1 second extension. At the top position, pull up to one’s sternum. This is done by arching one’s back. Perform 2 sets of max. Because of full stretch and pulling to sternum, they are quite difficult.

Full stretch at bottom for 1 full second

Pull to sternum at top

3) 2-hand KB Press

Cleaningthe KBs in position press both arms overhead. If needed, one can push press, by using your legs to jerk up the KBs. Perform 2 sets of 5 reps

2-Hand Press start

2-Hand Press Finish

4) Overhead Shrugs:

These are shrugs performed with the KBs overhead. Keeping your elbows locked, shrug, holding it for 1-2 seconds. Perform 2 sets of 12 reps.

Overhead Shrug start

Overhead Shrug finish. Hold for 1-2 seconds

5) 2-Hand  Shrugs:

Hold a KB in each  hand. From full stretch, raise arms, thinking of shoulders will touch ones ears. make sure not to drop your chin down, as it may cause some neck pains. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Perform 2 sets of 20 reps.

2-Hand Shrug start

2-Hand Shrug top position, hold for 1-2 seconds

6) Reverse flyes:

This is great exercise for the back of the shoulders, an area that is much under trained and susceptible to injuries, especially in combat sports.

To perform, use a rubber band hooked around eye level. Keeping elbows as straight as possible, bring your arms backwards. Slowly, 3 seconds, bring the hands back together. Perform 2 sets of 12 reps.

Start of Reverse Flyes

Keep arms at shoulder level and return slowly, about 3 seconds

7) Split Squat:

Although this looks like a lunge, one stays in position performing a squat. The weight is kept overhead (dumbbells are shown in the picture, but one can use a bar, as it is a bit easier to control). Squat down, while almost touching the floor with the back knee. Perform both sides. Do 2 sets per leg of 10 reps.

Split Squat start

Squat down, not lunging forward

8) Reverse Leg Curls:

This a fantastic exercise for the hamstrings, but can be demanding. Start by hooking one’s feet to keep them from coming up. If you have a partner, they can hold your feet down.

Start in upright position with knees bent. Slowly descend down. Keep your hands on your side, as it is difficult at first to fully control ones descent. From the bottom position, with the aid of your hands(less and less as one gets stronger), raise ones body back up, but keep the back straight. Perform 2 sets of 10 reps.

Reverse Leg Curls start

Keep hands on side to break ones descent



As you know, at my school, Club Kozak, I teach realistic and very simple knife defense techniques. We practice and train with resistance.
Yes, defending against a knife is not the same thing as defending against a punch or an MMA match. It is a lot harder and can have some serious consequences.

It blows my mind when I hear or read of MMA/grappling instructors say that learning to defend against a knife is useless, you’ll get hurt, and just run away. Of course, that is what I always teach my students, if one doesn’t have to engage, then don’t. Also, there are times that its not always for the money, it could be a disturb person just wanting to stab someone., and there are situations where we can’t just “run away!”

As a report from the CBC, knife attacks in Canada are at a rise. We do have very strict gun control laws here, making a knives an easier weapon of choice. Just think of it, we can buy a knife anywhere these days.

My final point is, I think its ignorant to say training in knife defense is useless, or will get you in trouble. There are some very bad and potentially dangerous (to one’s self) techniques out there. But if one trained, as we do, with simple and realistic training methods, learning to deal with a knife attack could help one out should the day happen( hopefully never!)



We all laugh when we thin of our US neighbours about them being fat. But look at us here, we’re rigt behind them.
Last stats I heard is that 4 of 10 Canadians are overweight.  How’s to blame?
We look around and blame others, but really its you to blame.

To much stress, my genetics, the food I buy..not my fault! Really? most of our decision in life are done by ourselves, but we still like to make it someone elses problem.
Stress yes, we all have it, some more than others, but we can control how it affects us. Genetics, that’s a good one! Yes, some people can put on weight more than others, but come on, is that really an excuse? It is you who puts the food in your mouth, not your genes! Blaming certain restos or foods we by…you bought it, it wasn’t giving to YOU!

Therefore, we really have to analyze of what everything we eat and all the activity we try to do is up to YOU! Make your decision now, engage now!

Club Kozak offers proper personal training and nutrition consultation that can affect your new life.


With the explosion of MMA now, it seems everyone is a pro-fighter or an MMA trainer.

This fashion of course does have a positive impact on legitimate schools, but it looks like any karate   dojos have all of a sudden start teaching MMA.  If you ask where they have gotten their MMA training: “well things I picked up along the way, here and there”.

Teaching guard techniques, or other ground grappling during weapons training or whatever in their “modern TMA” , boggles my mind. I completly respect those who teach TMA and honestly tell their students to seek a competent teacher in grappling or MMA, than those that read some books, watch some videos or did one seminar, and claim to be a extensive knowledge in grappling  or reality self-defense training.

MMA is a competitive sport. Look   at the times these schools have competed in MMA or grappling, and it equals to zero. Why then hold   MMA or even grappling classes? Should you ask them why they don’t compete:”it’s that we are a reality fighting gym , and don’t compete”.

Just do it.