Posts Tagged ‘mixed martial arts’

Rizin Fighting Federation 2 happened a few days ago in Japan. Hopefully marking the return of a full time player in Japanese MMA. This marked the return to the ring for The Emperor Fedor Emelianenko vs. Jaideep Singh after a 3 year lay off. Singh an unknown in the MMA world is an experienced K-1 kickboxer.  The next big fights were  Kron Gracie vs Asen Yamamoto, Bob Sapp vs. Akebono, Gabi  Garcia vs. Lei’d Tapa, and Muhammed Lawel vs Jiří Procházka. This was night two of the extravaganza. Night one was capped off by the loss of one of my favorite fighters of all time. Shinya Aoki dispatched kazushi Sakuraba.

Lets start with the fight that caught my attention.  I have not heard a lot about this card except it was to mark the return to action of Fedor. Fedor looked to be in his usual shape never an opposing physical specimen. Singh an experienced kickboxer looked out classed from the bell. Fedor in usual fashion rushed his opponent finally taking him to the ground and finishing the fight. Fedor was never in trouble and looked to be the Fedor of old. No one would expect him to jump back into a top ten heavyweight fight. It was a nice tune up. The big question is what is next for the Emperor.

The next is one I was really excited to see. Kron Gracie vs  Asen Yamamato. Kron the son of Gracie Jiu Jitsu legend Rickson Gracie is seen by some as the next MMA wunderkind. This fight showed a few holes in Krons game, but from someone known for their ground prowess,  he didn’t look to bad. Yamamto  also new to professional fighting put up a very good fight and looked to be a game fighter. Kron looks to be improving with his standup, but a few holes were definitely exposed. Kron took control as soon as the fight hit the ground. Yamamoto was able o reverse position a few times, but was ultimately caught in a triangle finish by Kron.

Here is the first of the traditional Japanese Pride style fights. And what I mean are the fights that border on freakshows. It is Bob Sapp vs. Akebono. Sapp a giant of a man had made a pretty good run in MMA and K-1 has been relegated to the freak show matches in MMA. This was fought under shootboxing rules. So basically it is an MMA match with no groundfighting. You can do standing submissions and takedowns just no fighting on the ground. This is a weird fight to say the least. The fight is stopped most of the time to work on a cut on Akebono. The even weirder thing is the cut is behind his ear.

The next one is Gabi  Garcia vs. Lei’d Tapa.  This fight was just plain awful. Gabi Garcia came in with a highly touted jiu jitsu career winning multiple world championships. She showed in this fight to have no stand up game at all.  Granted this was Garcia’s first pro fight she looked horrible. She has a long way to go to look to be a credible MMA fighter outside of her jiu jitsu. Her opponent didn’t have much of an answer either. This fight was amateurish at best. Garcia slimmed down for awhile but seems to have bulked back up for this fight at 205lbs. Garcia wins after knocking her opponent down with a flailing backfist and following up with some ground and pound.

The next is Rizin’s Light heavyweight tournament finale between King Mo Muhammed Lawel vs Jiří Procházk. This was definitely a more exciting fight than the semifinal matches. King Mo ended this with a straight right after some wild exchanges on the feet from both men. Mo also controlled the fight on the ground also.

The last and most heartbreaking for me came from night one of Rizin. It was Shinya Aoki vs. Kazushi Sakuraba. Sakuraba now 48 is past what would consider a fighter’s prime. Aoki controlled the fight from the start, taking mount and back mount finally finishing the fight by strikes. Sakuraba has been and will always be my favorite fighter, but it breaks my heart seeing him take a beating like that. Please stick to grappling. His Metamoris match was awesome to watch. I just don’t have the stomach to watch him take those beatings anymore.

All in all the card was not a bad one. It had some definite highlights, but also a few lowlights. I am for a return of Japanese MMA, I just hope it isn’t built on the sweat and blood of MMA legends. Japanese fans are do for a new crop of MMA superstars. Lets hope Rizen can pull that off.

 

   How hard is too hard. Rolling last night I got my shoulder tweaked twice in just a short rolling session. The first if I would not have bailed out with a forward roll I would be wearing a sling today. The second one, I actually had to verbal tap in a cross between a kimura and a straight armlock.  So here is my question. How hard do you go with someone who is not one of your normal training partners? The guy I was rolling with is a super nice guy and I have no doubt that he was not trying to injure me. It is just one of the things that can happen and does happen from time to time. I have always used the simple etiquette of rolling to the level of aggression of my partner. Then sometimes if I have a super aggressive partner I just play like a stump. Root myself to the ground and play 100% defense.

   The older I get the more I want my sparring sessions to be labeled exclusively as a flow roll, positional sparring, or a competition team sparring session. The flow roll is what I find the most useful for actually learning jiu jitsu. It can only be done with a few specific training partners. These are guys I have rolled with for hours. The next is the positional sparring situation. These can usually be rolled with any partner. This is because you roll with a specific purpose. The variables are limited making it a little safer. The last is competition sparring. This can be done a few ways. Let’s say partner A is competing in a big tourney a few weeks away. Partner B is not competing. Here is the ratio of the level of aggression. Partner A will put forth 65-70% while B will put out 30-35%. This is a time were A gets full resistance, but by B mentally throttling down the chance of injury goes down. The other way is a little more of a gamble. Two guys line up and roll it out till someone taps. This way is always more dangerous. Almost all the times I have been injured while sparring, it has happened this way.

   This simple formula took me a while to really figure out. I basically started out just going into sparring full bore. I never used to look at sparring as a real learning situation. Now intelligent sparring is where you can put it all together. Without this tool jiu jitsu would be as useless as some other martial arts where no sparring takes place. Learn to flow roll and learn to roll at varying intensity. Be sure to throw positional sparring in there too. Rely on good partners who can dial back their aggression. Jiu Jitsu cannot be truly learned without a good partner to study with.

I have not made time to post in a while and figured I need to get back to it. My training schedule over the last couple of months has been horrible. I have maybe been getting one day a week of jiu jitsu and maybe one or two more days of workouts. I have had some sickness, a child in the hospital, and a relative pass away all here recently. The blog kinda took a backseat to life. Hopefully I am now back in the swing of things.
I will start off with my recent tournament experience. I competed at the Southeast Missouri Open. It was not a large tournament but a good solid start for a first annual region tournament. The guys at midwestgrappler.com put on another very professional tournament. It was well run and well organized. The brackets were good with some tough jiu jitsu matches. Some of the best teams in the Midwest put on some very good matches.
Here is the rundown on how I did. Now understand I am in the blue belt masters division. This division is notorious for not having enough competitors to fill a bracket. So what usually happens is that we get thrown in with the young guys. No big deal. Well on this day they did not have a light heavyweight division, so I get grouped with the heavy/super heavy division. I am by far the smallest guy in this division with the largest topping out at 300 plus. Luck of the draw I get the first bye. My first opponent in the semifinal round is 6’5” 250. Myself I am 5’7” 201. I have to say I played a pretty good match and finished 11-0 on a solid tough opponent. This put me in the finals with only one match. Well with the move in division it placed me in the finals against a teammate. We have the rule as do most schools, we won’t compete against our teammates. So what do you do in this situation, we had an epic rock, paper, scissors battle to the death. Needless to say I am still here and crushed his rock with my paper. So I could not complain about my showing in the gi. Next was what they called an Old Man Superfight. I didn’t have anyone in the light heavy no gi division so I had a teammate from the main academy step and challenge me. By the way, thanks Michael Collins for the match. I was able to secure a darce choke and win the no gi superfight.
So all in all it was a good day and a great tournament. I was able to get some mat time. I felt good even though it had been some time since I had put in any hard training. I also received a very good compliment from a respected higher belt, and that was the best of all of it. It was a good day.

Consistency. When I was running my schools, this was one thing that bothered me almost more than anything. I would have students come to class, maybe one time one week, a couple of times the next. As an instructor you give a lot of yourself. You give your knowledge, your guidance, and most importantly your time. It was a hard lesson to learn as an instructor that not everyone is as dedicated as I was. I don’t think it was just the inconsistent training that bothered me, i believe it was the lack of communication. I know students are not always going to be at every class, but a little message letting me know would have went along way. Now if you are a fighter or want to be a fighter as an instructor I would definitely expect you to be at most classes.
Things have came full circle for me. I have ran my own MMA/BJJ school for over 13 years up until this past January. I closed my last school to spend more time with my family and to have a flexible schedule. Then something happens that I wish would have happened years ago. My bjj instructor was going to have a school within driving distance. So for the first time in years, I was going to be a student again. I was and still am super excited to be a student again, and be able to add to my toolbox. Being a student means I am not required to be at class as if I was the instructor, but I do have the responsibility as a student to show up to class or at the very least let my instructor know that I wont be there. Be responsible, be consistant.