Friday, January 18, 2013

King of Grappling

Let me preface this by saying I hate competing.   I've always hated it.  For me, the worst part about competing is having to wait around for a match.  It's almost unbearable.  The anticipation is almost too much to handle.  I remember one time waiting from 9:00 a.m. to after 4:00 p.m. for a match and then losing by one point! 

My instructor had wanted me to do the ADCC trials last year, but I decided not to do it.  I told him, "next time".  So, when he told me that they were being held again, I decided that I would do it.  Unfortunately, I was informed about three weeks ago that the tournament is only open to Koreans.  I was a little put off by this since Koreans were allowed to compete at the ADCC trials in the Philippines.  I understand some of the reasoning behind the rule, but I think it would be fair to let people with Korean work visas compete (four year resident, here) like Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Cup does.  Oh well...since I can't do ADCC, I will be competing in King of Grappling. 

Next weekend there will be two major competitions held in Seoul.  ADCC will be held on Saturday and King of Grappling will be held on Sunday.  

Besides ADCC, King of Grappling is the first pure no gi tournament to be held here in Korea.  It is also the first even, to my knowledge, to put on super fights here in Korea (I remember Leo Vieira having a special match here about four years ago at a KBJJC event, but I wouldn't really call that a super fight). 

The tournament is not following IBJJF rules which I kind of like.   The rules are: 
Take downs-2 points (must have positional dominance for at least 3 seconds)
Passing guard-3 points (side control and north/south-positional dominance for at least 3 seconds)
Knee on belly-2 points
Back control/mount-3 points

There are no points for sweeps and no advantages.  For the advance division, all leg locks are legal except for heel hooks.  Matches are six minutes and super fight matches are eight minutes submission only.  I like the rules, except knee reaping is illegal.  I think banning knee reaping is silly (especially at the advance level), but other than that, the rules are solid.  

The super fights have a special theme pitting MMA fighters against BJJ players.  The super fights are:

                                                                         Main event

                                      The "Korean pitbull" Seo Doo-won v.s. Kris Kim

                        Road FC 001 "The Korean pitbull" Seo Doo-won v.s. Hara Akihito

                                                                       Match #2

                          Bae Young-kwon v.s. Sang Jun-seok (Marco Barbosa black belt)

           SHOOTO-Gig North 6 "The Serial Killer" Bae Young-kwon v.s. Daisuke Ishizawa

                                                                         Match #3

                                Kim Ji-hoon v.s. Park Hyun-kab (John Frankl brown belt)

                                     Road FC 002: ALIVE  Kim Ji-hoon v.s. Hamada Junpei

                                                                        Match #4

                                  Brian Choi v.s. Jung Yoon-ho (Daegu MMA purple belt)

                  Martial Combat 11 Brian "the Polar Bear" Choi v.s. Wang Jin Gang

I couldn't find any competition videos of any of the BJJ players.  The only guy I've trained with and seen compete is Jung Yoon-ho.  He is a beast. I know he has some videos of his competitions on Facebook:
Jung Yoon-ho's Facebook:
Chris Kim's Facebook:

All the match ups look fun, and the main event is particularly interesting since Seo Doo-won is technically a blue belt in gi BJJ.  I'm looking forward to seeing how his BJJ holds up against a black belt. 


  1. John - all the best. I'm confident you will do really well. You're the "Sandman"...

    I will be doing a DMZ tour next week, so I will try to see these tournaments. When and where is the King of Grappling? Same for ADCC - when/where?

  2. Thanks, Tom.

    ADCC will be held at the Korean Top Team gym Saturday. I think the spectator fee is 5,000 Won. King of Grappling is at Yongsan Culture and Sports Center. The spectator fee is a cup of ramen noodles for charity.