Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kang Kyung-ho (Team MAD) v.s. Choi Gyu-jin (Ulsan Fight Gym)


Here's another great match up from one of our past competitions here in Busan featuring UFC fighter Kang Kyung-ho.  Enjoy.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

DEEP-Satoru Kitaoka interview

Here's a recent interview with leg lock specialist Satoru Kitaoka, one of my favorite grapplers/fighters! 

            Dat' hair

                            Pancrase:  Spiral 8-Carlos Condit v.s. Satoru Kitaoka

DREAM 17-Satoru Kitaoka v.s. Willamy Freire (I was excited to see Kitaoka, but damn this was a boring fight to watch).

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday training 03-16-2013

Saturday, I had the pleasure of getting to train with Jeong Yoon-ho.  Yoon-ho trains out of Daegu MMA, is one of Korea's top purple belt competitors, and is a real gentleman.  Yoon-ho stopped by the gym to train with one of his teammates who qualified to go to Abu Dhabi this year. 

                                     Jeong Yoon-ho-Korea Grand Prix gold medal winner            

The other great thing is that he and I are about the same size.  Getting to roll with someone my size and skill level is quite the rare treat for me nowadays, and it was great.   

I've said this before, but I love getting to train with people from other gyms.  It's fun getting to roll with a person whose style you are not used to, and it can teach you about some of the holes and weaknesses in your game.  I look forward to getting the chance to train more with him in the future.  

Dammit all, don't let this little dude get on your back, because you will be in a world of trouble!

Hahaha, also my instructor has this picture hanging on the wall just above the entrance to the gym.  I'd never seen this picture before and thought it was quite amusing.  End transmission.

                               Listen to Oscar

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ADCC Japan 2013

            Sunday March 24, 2013-Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Ground Tokyo, Japan

    Korean Players:
    -66 kg Chwe Jung-bum (Paraestra)

    -77 kg Michael Ahn (Korean Top Team)

     -88 kg Kim Dong-huynh (Team MAD)

    -99 kg Park Kang-chul (Team Grizzly)
    +99 kg Kim Doo-hwan (Korean Top Team)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Who's left?

Club Conde Koma (pre-East Heaven White Mountain)
2004 Club Conde Koma
Number of students: 60  Students who still train regularly: 4
Number of students who made it from white to black: 3

"BJJ isn't about who's best, but who's left"-random internet poster

Yes, I'm quoting something I read on an internet forum.  So, what?  This particular little gem is so spot on, so true, so meaningful, that I had to share it.  In retrospect, I probably should have just tried to pawn this quote off as my own to make myself look intelligent.

I was up late the other night messing around on my academy's DAUM (Korean) website looking at pictures.  It was pretty amusing.  One of the things that stood out the most was how many guys have come and gone over the years.  A couple of months ago I was lifting weights after class, and someone came to the gym that I hadn't seen in almost four years.  We were white belts together, and I think he was surprised to see me.  Even more astonishing to him was that I was now a purple belt. 

I've heard people come up with percentages on how many people quit BJJ before, but I'd like to share some pictures with everyone and tell you how many guys in the picture still actually come to the gym and train regularly. 

I've seen white belts quit.  I've seen guys get their blue belts and never come back.  Hell, I even know some purples that don't train anymore.  I guess I'm trying to state the obvious:  things always change, and you have to find it inside yourself to keep walking through that door. 

When I list instructor in the picture that means the person is an instructor and still trains regularly.  Semi-regularly is someone who will take very  long lay offs, come back to the gym for a spurt, stops again, and keeps repeating the cycle or someone who only trains once a week.  All pictures include me (aren't you lucky?). 

I tried to pick photos with a wide range of people. 

My first couple of months at the gym back in 2009 (with one year of previous training)
Instructors: 3  Students: 15  People who still train regularly: 2 Semi-regularly: 2

   White belt me
Instructors: 2  Students: 16  Students who still train regularly: 3

Me almost at blue
Number of instructors: 6  Students: 8  Students that still train regularly: 2  Semi-regularly: 1

I still remember the night I got my blue belt.  Some guy showed up to the gym asking me how much it cost to train.  When I told him, he asked me if there was a discount available.  I proceeded to let him know that there wasn't a discount.  He told me that $100.00 a month for unlimited BJJ was too expensive.  He then asked me again if I thought the instructor would give him a discount.  I said, "no".  He then told me that Team MAD has better BJJ than our gym.  I told him that Team MAD is part of our gym and that their instructor is a pupil under our instructor, and that, in actuality, they do only no gi grappling and don't even train BJJ.  

Clearly this guy needed to take a few crash courses in communication and tact.  After that, I saw him talking to a couple of my teammates.  Later on that night they told me that he was asking about a discount.  We rarely have freaks come off the street into our gym, but that night it must have been a full moon or something.

 My blue belt promotion! (discount guy isn't in the picture unfortunately)
Instructors: 2  Students: 16  Students who still train regularly: 2  Semi-regularly: 2

Instructors: 2  Students: 16  Students who still train regularly: 4 Semi-regularly: 1

My second or third competition as a blue belt
Instructors: 2  Students who still train regularly: 1

Tozi gym
Instructors: 6  Number of students in the picture: 31 Students who still train regularly: 8  Semi-regularly: 3

 The first night at the new gym in Kyungsun!
Instructors: 3  Students: 27  Students who still train regularly: 13 Semi-regularly: 1

My purple belt promotion!
Instructors: 4  Students: 22  Students still training regularly:8
Semi-regularly: 1

I probably could have spent some time doing some ratios and trying to figure out a good estimate on how many people have started and quit over the course of the last four years but: 
A.)  I am too lazy and stupid to do it 
B.)  I am too lazy and stupid to do it.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Importance of Changing Direction and Using the Head When Passing

A black belt told me something recently that's stuck with me over the last couple of months.   His English wasn't very good, but he got his idea across crystal clear:  "White belts and blue belts just pass one way, but upper belts pass the other way". 

What he was trying to tell me was to make sure that I am always trying to change direction when I am passing.  Even though I was already aware of this, it's something that I've really been focusing on during the last couple of months.  To be honest, I've hit a plateau of sorts lately.  I've made a list of just a few things that I want to work on for the next long while and changing direction is one of them.  What I'm about to discuss is more of a concept and philosophy rather than an actual technique. 

If you walk straight into a brick wall, what's going to happen?  If you keep going forward you will just keep knocking your head into the wall (and probably kill some brain cells in the process).  If I simply move a little to the right or the left then I can go around the brick wall.  Of course that is oversimplified (especially considering there are other small details to keep in mind when trying to pass someone's guard), but if I'm having trouble passing one way, then I need to make sure to change the direction of my pass and the direction of my hips and proceed in the other direction. 

If my opponent resists and defends by moving their hips, then I need to change the direction of my pass and the direction of my hips AGAIN.  Ideally, my directional change and the movement of my hips must be one step ahead of my opponent's if I want to pass.  I've actually come up with a new pass this past week based on this concept when trying to pass half guard (I change my direction, my opponent defends, and I change my direction again ahead of my opponent). 

                               Change direction

Equally important is the use of my head.  In actuality, I have three arms:  my left arm, my right arm, and my head!  When I am playing the top position, I am trying to use my head to help me base, create pressure, and minimize the space between my opponent and I. 

It sounds simple, but I've really had to condition myself to make sure that I keep good head pressure.  It's a lot more complicated than it sounds.  You also have to make sure that you have your head placed in the right position as well (if your weight is in the wrong position, it could get you swept or reversed). 

You will now be privileged with another picture of my cat: