KnuckleUp Victorious Over the Weekend


This Friday at Wild Bill’s Atlanta, three KnuckleUp fighters scored impressive wins in a nationally televised event at Legacy Fighting Championship/NFC 40. Devorius Tubbs stopped Derrick Brown in the first round with a brutal knockout. Gui Cury used his newly polished striking game and excellent conditioning to win a clear decision over Rusty Crowder, and Dave Vitkay, coming off of a undefeated 3-0 tour in Bellator,  continued his three year winning streak with a third round submission win over a wild Tommy Jones. Dave is heading to tryout for The Ultimate Fighter TV show on April 27 in Las Vegas. Dave’s last attempt to make it on TUF went well and we’re sure his resent success combined with a drop to welterweight (170) will get eye of the UFC and land him on the show.

On Saturday, KnuckleUp submission phenom Quentin Rosenzweig (star student of KnuckleUp head instructor, Master Ricardo Murgel) won his grappling superfight at the Kukato Submission Challenge. Quentin has another superfight scheduled for May and is planning to compete at the IBJJF World’s as well as the next Abu Dhabi trials.

KnuckleUp’s remarkable record of competitive success is well known and our instructors and members have dominated competitions at every level in the Southeast for well over a decade.

KnuckleUp’s top fighters also teach at our two metro Atlanta locations. Quentin Rosenzweig, alternates teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at our Alpharetta school with Master Murgel.  Gui Cury  teaches BJJ along with Murgel in the Sandy Springs gym. Dave Vitkay teaches kickboxing in Sandy Springs and is a top personal trainer.  All three are available for both group and private classes at both gyms.



Dave Vitkay posing with his team after his win at Legacy FC 40

Dave Vitkay poses with the team after his victory at Legacy 40

Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News

Huge Weekend for KnuckleUp Fighters

KnuckleUp continues our dominance of the local fight scene with a huge weekend of events.

Tonight at Wild Bill’s in Atlanta two of the gym’s star trainers have the biggest fights of their careers broadcast live on AXSTV. Dave “The Atlanta Ogre” Vitkay, who is known for his crushing ground game, will face Tommy Jones in the Co Main Event of Legacy 40.

Dave, who has gone 3-0 in Bellator (one an 18 second submission), is on a 4 fight win streak. If he does well tonight in front of a nationally televised audience he will boost his career’s already rising momentum.  An entertaining win against Jones will springboard one of our gym’s main instructors into more big matches and potentially line him up to fight for a title in the near future. Plus, Dave hopes to ride his huge wave of ring success into a spot on the UFC’s flagship Reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter when he tries out later this year.

Home grown Jiu Jitsu Ace, Gui Curry, will face the always tough Rusty Crowder at featherweight. Gui, who is an accomplished Jiu Jitsu brown belt and was an undefeated amateur mixed martial artist has worked hard on his striking for the last year in order to compliment his already slick ground game. Both Dave and Gui were trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at KnuckleUp’s Sandy Springs School under the great Master Ricardo Murgel.

KnuckleUp Muay Thai “Destroyer” Devorious Tubbs will also make his television debut tonight as well.

Then on Saturday, Quentin Rosenzweig, will face Brandon Mccaghren in a submission only professional grappling match at Kakuto at Kenesaw Mountain High School. Quentin is another of the grappling prodigies Master Murgel has created while head BJJ instructor at KnuckleUp. He is a leg lock specialist and it took him, on average, only thirty seconds to submit his opponents last year.

Posted in Atlanta BJJ, KnuckleUp Boxing, Uncategorized

Schedule Update-03-19-15

UPDATE – Sandy Springs Schedule as of March 19th 2015

All regularly scheduled classes will be held for Boxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian JIu Jitsu. Please enter through the side breezeway.

Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News

Punching Hard






The prin­ci­ples of effec­tive punch­ing are: decep­tion, effec­tive weight trans­fer­ence, and place­ment. Ide­ally a blow will uti­lize all three but any one of them is enough to cre­ate a punch that will knock the aver­age man unconscious.

If a man is expect­ing to get hit, if he can see the punch com­ing and steel him­self to its impact, then it’s unlikely that the blow will pro­duce a knock­out. It’s more effec­tive to hit a man with a lighter punch that he doesn’t see com­ing than a heav­ier blow which he has pre­pared him­self for, even if only for a frac­tion of a frac­tion of a second.

A good method of deceiv­ing your oppo­nent as to the tim­ing and place­ment of a blow is to “hide” the punch inside a series of lighter shots. There­fore, you should always throw more than one punch and never try to “pot shot” your oppo­nent with one punch from the out­side. Keep your hands up and chin down, tucked behind the lead shoul­der, and com­mit to start­ing and fin­ish­ing exchanges with your oppo­nent. It’s within these exchanges that most dam­age is done.

By feint­ing to one part of the body and throw­ing to another you can catch your oppo­nent unaware or make him defend the wrong part him­self. Feint­ing should be done with the shoul­ders, head, eyes and feet and not just the arms. Effec­tive feints are small and sub­tle and are con­cerned with dis­rupt­ing your opponent’s rhythm ever so slightly.

Effec­tive body punch­ing both drains your oppo­nent of vital­ity and also makes feints more effec­tive. In addi­tion to set­ting up a knock­out blow to the chin with repeated punches and feints to the body, a rarer and more ele­gant tech­nique is to feint to the head and deliver a well-placed and accu­rate left hook to the opponent’s body when he doesn’t expect it.

Also effec­tive is to cause your oppo­nent to cover up his head with a light com­bi­na­tion then shoot a quick, accu­rate left hook which touches the short ribs just under the chest. This is how Bernard Hop­kins stopped Oscar De La Hoya when they fought. This shot, when landed cor­rectly, is the sin­gle most unpleas­ant blow to get hit with in box­ing and is the only punch that I know of that is so inca­pac­i­tat­ing that it will make a trained pro­fes­sional boxer quit.

Through the cor­rect trans­fer­ence of your body’s weight tremen­dous force can be gen­er­ated in your punches over very short dis­tances and with lit­tle vis­i­ble move­ment. This is the secret to infight­ing. The weight of the body should move up from the feet through the legs, hips, core, then shoul­ders and arms and be deliv­ered on the end of the fist with a snap. The move­ment is akin to the way one shifts the weight from one foot to another when danc­ing in place. Flu­id­ity is essen­tial and coor­di­na­tion has more to do with punch­ing effec­tively than bod­ily strength.

Raw speed and reflex­ive abil­ity are inher­ent and can­not be devel­oped if you‘re not blessed with them from the get go. How­ever, rhythm and tim­ing can be devel­oped with prac­tice. A fighter who has good tech­nique, i.e. throws short straight punches, and who has devel­oped his abil­ity to time his oppo­nents will seem fast whether he is or isn’t. The great nul­li­fier of an opponent’s supe­rior hand speed is a con­sis­tent and steady jab.

A boxer’s body and abil­ity to punch must be con­di­tioned through count­less repeated move­ment, drills, shadow box­ing and spar­ring. This process takes years of train­ing and the ath­letic prime of a boxer is typ­i­cally only a few years (27–31). This is why a really excel­lent boxer who has long-term suc­cess in the ring is such a rar­ity and one of the most remark­able occur­rences in the sports world.



Posted in KnuckleUp Boxing

Fire Update 3-16-15

Today was a great success!!! We were able to operate on almost a full schedule and the classes went awesome!
Tomorrow we will be open for the 8:30am class  and will run a full schedule for the rest of the day. Starting Wednesday we should be back to our complete normal schedule.
Thank you all for your understanding and for sticking by us. All of our staff members, our families and all our fantastic members appreciate your support during this tough time.

KnuckleUp. A club barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s best martial arts school. KnuckleUp will be that school. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster.”

Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News

Fire Update 2.0 – 03/15/2015

Unless something unforeseen happens we hope to open back up in time to have the 10 AM kickboxing classes on Monday ( 3-15-15)  and running the regular schedule throughout the rest of the day (no cycling though). Keep looking in your emails, Facebook and the for updates.  As a reminder, only the Muay Thai/BJJ and boxing areas will be open on Monday. The weight room, cardio areas and kickboxing floors, as well as the locker rooms, lobby and common areas cannot be used at this time.  Additionally, please make sure you bring your own equipment for any classes you are taking. All of the loaner gloves, gis etc. were damaged by smoke from the fire.

Thank you for your understanding that we hope to see you Monday.

Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News

FIRE UPDATE-Classes tomorrow ( 3-14-15) at Sandy Springs Location

Okay, so the cleaning crew will be working overnight getting the Thai/BJJ and boxing areas cleaned up enough to hold classes.
We will be bringing some extra bags into the Thai room and running kickboxing classes in there. We will have a total of 18 bags hung, so we will be able to accommodate 36 students doubled up on the bags. First come first served!

BJJ classes will run as usual, and the Thai and boxing classes will be able to share the boxing room. Additionally, we are going to open up into the outside breezeway for strength training workouts and bootcamp type activities. So, long story short, we’re going to be open, come on down and get a sweat on!!!


Mrs. Oleary's Cow kicks over a lantern and starts the Great Chicago Fire.

Mrs. Oleary’s Cow kicks over a lantern and starts the Great Chicago Fire.

Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News

KnuckleUp BJJ – The Essence of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Logo Knuckle Up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Ricardo Murgel, head Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor for Knuckle Up, and I go back a long time. When I first met him I was a journalist. We went to Brazil together on assignment back in 2008. Back then, BJJ was beginning to make waves in the United States but was still poorly understood by the most people. The purpose of the trip was for Master Murgel to help me understand the true roots of BJJ as a martial art. While in Rio we traveled to the school of Great Grandmaster Álvaro Baretto, one of the few BJJ instructors in the world who is senior to Murgel. At Grandmaster Alvaro’s Rio dojo we had a fascinating discussion, the highlights of which I chronicled for FIGHT! Magazine. Towards the end of our talk I asked him to explain the essence of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

“You must understand that Jiu-Jitsu is really four things,” he explained. “One: it is a philosophy that can be summed up by the statement ‘Give to Win’. For example if you make strength with your arms then you give a point of leverage for your opponent to use against you. If you stay loose then you deprive your opponent of that. So, by appearing to be weak you gain strength. Second, it is a system of teaching. It gives access to proper rules of human behavior, self-respect, honor, discipline, courage, and so on. Third, it is a therapy. If man is too aggressive, it will calm him. Is he is too weak or passive? It will make him stronger. And finally, it is a fighting system.”

Alvaro commented that many newly minted Jiu Jitsu aficionados, perhaps attracted by the rising popularity of the UFC were concentrating just on the fourth aspect and ignoring the first three. He told me this missed much of the value of the art. “Jiu-Jitsu is not an end,” he summed up. “It is a tool for creating a better life.”

In the years after that trip I went on the cover martial arts on four continents and meet many of world’s most prominent martial artists, coaches and instructors, but to this day, Grandmaster Alvaro’s is best explanation of the essence of BJJ that I’ve ever heard.

Alvaro Baretto, Ricardo Murgel and Joao Alberto Baretto

Three of the Greatest Living BJJ Masters ( Alvaro Baretto, Ricardo Murgel and Alvaro’s brother, Joao Alberto Baretto)


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Posted in Atlanta BJJ

Strong performance by Team Knuckleup at Georgia Grappling Championships

The Georgia Grappling Championships took place yesterday in Riverdale, Ga and the KnuckleUp team posted another strong performance. In addition to bringing home 2nd place overall in the adults division, the team also took 2nd in NoGi and Gi, as well as 5th in the kids and teens division. And, we accomplished all this with a very small number of fighters! We’re on a roll baby! Check out the NAGA site for full results.

Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News

KnuckleUp represents at Grapple America!

A big thank you to everyone who represented KnuckleUp at Grapple America! We took 2nd place as a team and everyone looked great!


Posted in Knuckleup Fitness News