A word of thanks: Part 1: Being a small part of Garry Tonon’s preparation for his winning MMA debut was a great coaching experience and to see him successfully execute many of the central themes and concepts of an entirely new sport in such a short preparation time was truly impressive. I wanted to thank the many people who played key roles in this young mans incredible development. First, to Mr Tonon himself. He trained three times a day seven days a week, through injuries, physical pain and early frustration and never missed a workout. Due to the fact that I have to teach a high volume of private classes to make a living, the only daily time slot for MMA sparring was immediately after his second class. I did not want him to neglect his main strength, so he had to spar MMA immediately after two hours of grappling – he did it every day without complaint. His work ethic amazes me. Thanks also to Squad Eddie Cummings and Gordon Ryan, along with all the kohai (juniors) who created the framework of the squad that helped build his brand and a training room that could promote development. Thanks so much to the unsung heroes of the squad – the regulars of RGA in NYC headquarters who come in every day while holding full time jobs and made a room that builds champions – you fellows are the rock upon which this whole enterprise is built. Thanks to Doug Pelinkovic, Mike Jaramillo, Gene Dunne, Brian Glick and Claude Levy, senior students whom I often discuss ideas and concepts of MMA and who provide such a fine sounding board for my developmental ideas. Thanks to Tom DeBlass for being such an outstanding mentor to Mr Tonon all these years. Thanks so much to Ryan Rizco, Jake Shields, Matthew Tesla, Neiman Gracie, Garry St-Leger and Mehrdad for being the sparring partners who took Garry from total novice to confident debutant in just four months. Thanks to Jamie Crowder and Joe Sampieri of RGA Muay Thai for all your insight and help. Thanks so much to Georges St-Pierre and Joe Rogan for extremely valuable input on the subtleties of distance, movement and timing that played a pivotal role in the outcome. Continued…