Eddie Bravo Became a Jiu Jitsu Legend with One Win. Can His Fighting Style Now Conquer MMA?

Eddie-Bravo-Timothy-Norris.jpg
Timothy Norris/OC Weekly
Bravo, left

A shirtless Eddie Bravo stood on one end of the jiu jitsu mat inside the Ginásio do Ibirapuera sports arena in São Paulo, Brazil, stared straight ahead, then walked toward his destiny.

It was May 17, 2003, the quarterfinal match in the 66-kilogram division of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championship, one of the biggest challenges of its kind. Fans had gathered to cheer on masters of jiu jitsu, judo, wrestling and other grappling arts in a rare interdisciplinary tournament, a real-life Bloodsport. Bravo had turned 33 two days earlier, and this was his present: his first international professional tournament; his first matches on foreign soil; and a hostile crowd rooting for the guy across the mat from him, three-time defending champion Royler Gracie, scion of the family who essentially created Brazilian jiu jitsu. No member of the clan had ever lost to an American, certainly not in a competition broadcast on national television. Certainly not to an undersized Mexican kid from Santa Ana.

More »

Eddie Bravo Became a Jiu Jitsu Legend with One Win. Can His Fighting Style Now Conquer MMA?

Eddie-Bravo-Timothy-Norris.jpg
Timothy Norris/OC Weekly
Bravo, left

A shirtless Eddie Bravo stood on one end of the jiu jitsu mat inside the Ginásio do Ibirapuera sports arena in São Paulo, Brazil, stared straight ahead, then walked toward his destiny.

It was May 17, 2003, the quarterfinal match in the 66-kilogram division of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championship, one of the biggest challenges of its kind. Fans had gathered to cheer on masters of jiu jitsu, judo, wrestling and other grappling arts in a rare interdisciplinary tournament, a real-life Bloodsport. Bravo had turned 33 two days earlier, and this was his present: his first international professional tournament; his first matches on foreign soil; and a hostile crowd rooting for the guy across the mat from him, three-time defending champion Royler Gracie, scion of the family who essentially created Brazilian jiu jitsu. No member of the clan had ever lost to an American, certainly not in a competition broadcast on national television. Certainly not to an undersized Mexican kid from Santa Ana.

More »

Forty Years After the Fall of Saigon, Orange County's Annual Tet Festival Goes Plural

tet-cover-1.jpg
Chad Weaver/OC Weekly

It's about noon on Jan. 25, and hundreds of volunteers from more than a dozen Southern California schools are on their way to a shabby-looking business park in a sparsely populated area of west Garden Grove. The Santa Anas are blowing, and as the students approach the parking lots, they see fellow volunteers awaiting them, their hands holding pamphlets and pieces of paper to shield their eyes from the sun, heat and dust.

The greeters point the volunteers toward the headquarters of the Southern California chapter of the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations (UVSA), a building that also houses the offices of a company that sells e-cigarettes and an American Apparel-esque clothing factory, though it's Vietnamese making clothes instead of Mexicans. Everyone is there to help organize UVSA's upcoming Tet festival, scheduled to happen in less than a month.

Outside the building, several dozen young women congregate and socialize. They're almost dressed in uniform: dyed hair (some ombre, some with highlights), 3-inch heels, and either short shorts or knee-length dresses appropriate for the 85-degree weather. They're tying friendship bracelets around one another's wrists as they work together to make sure the Tet festival's pageant, a major part of the weekend's planned cultural programming, goes off without a hitch.

More »

Jelena Jensen Has to Do More Than Just Films to Be a 21st Century Porn Princess

jelena-jensen-1.jpg
Photo: Willie T / Assistant: Laura Nixon / Hair: Jennie Albeno / Makeup: Monica Alvarez

By Steve Lowery

"Brad, are you doing something right now?"

Yes, Brad from Sherman Oaks is doing something right now. You could kind of sense it when he first called in to Jelena Jensen's Sirius XM radio show on Vivid Radio, the broadcasting arm of the adult-entertainment giant. There was the monosyllabic answers he gave that made him sound out of breath.

When Jensen asks him if he'd ever like to receive a sexy photo of a girlfriend along the lines of the boudoir photography done by Jelena's radio guest, Ellen Stagg, Brad gives a breathless ". . . yeah."

When Ellen asks if he would be thrilled to get one of the photos she shoots, there is a long, loooong pause on Brad's end before he replies in a somewhat-tortured staccato, "I would . . . definitely . . . like . . . it," sounding very much like someone who might have a gun pointed at his head--though, given that Jensen is an adult-industry star with a dozen years in the business this month, a mini-conglomerate who does girl-girl, boy-girl (but only with her husband), solo acts, live cam shows, glamour photos, radio shows, TV shows, webcasting, web coding, as well as the fact that she is statuesque and gorgeous, chances are it's Brad who is holding the gun, and as his rapidly increasing breathing suggests, the gun is loaded and ready to discharge.

More »

Jack Vale's Wholesome YouTube Pranks Have Made Him a Star

OCW_LED_20150129_JackVale_JohnGilhoolie_1649.jpg
John Gilhooley

In front of a hardware store, Jack Vale stands with his wife, a petite brunette who is noticeably pregnant--as in, baby's-hand-hanging-out pregnant. A bundle of lumber rests on the ground; they stare at it. The dilemma: How are they going to carry it to their truck?

A bespectacled, middle-aged man walks up to them and stops. "Where you going with that?" he asks. Vale points to his vehicle in the parking lot.

The man offers to help, bending down to lift one end of the pile. Vale then takes a step back and motions to Sherry, clutching her round, round belly. "Honey," he says to her, "you can grab the other end here." The man freezes.


More »

Anaheim Officials Welcome the Kush Expo--While Suing Small Pot Shops and Their Landlords

kush-expo-illo.jpg
Jeff Drew/OC Weekly

Every summer for the past five years, the Anaheim Convention Center, a swirly tower of concrete and blue-tinted glass, transforms itself into a mecca of marijuana. This magical event, the world's largest of its kind, lasts exactly two days and happens just across the street from the Disneyland Resort. It's called the Kush Expo.

On display inside the four-hall, football field-sized facility are dozens of vendors hawking products ranging from the latest vaporizers to bongs, soil nutrients and hydroponic growing equipment. There's the annual Kush Cup Awards, offering recognition for best indica, sativa and hybrid strains; oil; wax; hash; edible chocolate; vape pen; and tube bong--to name but a few categories. Then there's the Hot Kush Girl Contest, in which bikini-clad lasses with green numbers spray-painted on their thighs compete for up to $500 and a gift bag.

If all the bare flesh and bong raffles aren't enough to keep you entertained, you can step inside an open-air white tent out back, where folks with a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana can smoke pot while guarded by Anaheim police officers. Doctors are on-site and available to help out the poor souls who forgot their cards. For a small fee, they can figure out what ails you, and presto change-o, you're a certified medicinal-marijuana patient.

More »

David Rose Gets 5 Years and Must Pay Doctors, Dentists and Orthodontists $2.3 Million

sea-ray_fbi.jpg
Courtesy of the FBI
David Rose's former $80,000 Sea Ray boat
An investment professional who stung physicians, dentists and orthodontists for $2.3 million--and spent the money he received on a Cota de Caza home, college tuition, luxury cars, shares in the Green Bay Packers and the $80,000 boat shown above--was sentenced in Santa Ana federal court Monday to nearly five years in prison.

More »

Cars and Coffee Became America's Most Famous Auto Meet-up--And That Is Why It's Now Gone

cars-coffee-1.jpg
Bruce Benedict

It's a few hours before dawn on Dec. 20--a Saturday--and the 405 and 5 freeways around Irvine are slammed. Porsches and Lamborghinis and other exotic cars are clipping along, some at speeds and RPMs normally reserved for a racetrack, until they hit the gridlock, all headed toward the same Alton Parkway, Irvine Center Drive and 133 exits lit up red on Waze and Google Maps.

As the clock clicks closer to 7 a.m., the traffic gets heavier, briefly forming a solid row of cars stretching to a large parking lot just north of the El Toro Y that's shared by Ford's California design team and Mazda's corporate offices. As the cars idle while waiting to get in, their engines produce a symphony of roars, purrs, putters, growls and zooms. These are special cars--restored bombs, gleaming land yachts, Italian sports coupes, Asian imports, Beamers, school projects, a military troop carrier, a collection of Volkswagen buses and beetles, and dozens of other pretties for weekend warriors to gawk at and praise.

They all eventually pull single file into the Ford/Mazda lot, slowly crawling as the drivers follow signs and volunteers to empty spots. Drivers and passengers--older white men wearing bomber jackets; wealthy foreign-born Asians, Asian Americans and Middle Eastern men; and a handful of women, children and dogs--get out of their cars and start to wander, walking the lot and literally kicking the tires of the cars that have gathered.

More »

Longtime Juaneño Indian Leader David Belardes Loses His Battle with Cancer

Categories: Cover Story

david-belardes_john-gilhooley.jpg
Photo by John Gilhooley/OC Weekly
David Belardes, R.I.P.
The passing of David Belardes, the onetime chief of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians in San Juan Capistrano, warrants a look back at our Feb. 5, 2009, cover story.

More »

Santa Ana Deliberately Burned Down Its Chinatown in 1906--And Let a Man Die to Do It

burning-santa-ana-chinatown.jpg

The atmosphere was jovial as more than 1,000 people gathered in downtown Santa Ana on May 25, 1906, to watch their civic dream come true: the burning of the city's Chinatown.

Politicians and residents alike had long pushed for the torching, and now was the time to do it. The once-thriving area--bounded by present-day Main, Third and Bush streets--was almost vacant, atrophied over the years by anti-Chinese laws that made a peaceful life there impossible. Health officials had just condemned Chinatown's few remaining buildings, rounding up out the last residents as onlookers jeered. A representative of China's minister to the United States was rushing in from Los Angeles, seeking to stop the planned kindling. But Santa Ana would be denied no more.

Families gathered to witness the destruction, along with law enforcement and businessmen--the whole town, it seemed. "It was like a big picnic, or a Fourth of July," an eyewitness recalled decades later. A fire marshal was on the scene to douse coal oil on Chinatown's structures and set the blaze. But light drizzle throughout the day put a damper on everyone's plans; the fire marshal couldn't strike a spark.

That delay thinned the original crowd to a couple of hundred curious onlookers as the evening arrived. But when the first flames curled up to the sky around 8 p.m., visible for blocks around, a stampede returned "in time to see the fun," according to the Santa Ana Evening Blade.


More »
Loading...