Posts Tagged ‘o soto gari’

Strikeforce/M1-Global Fedor vs Rogers

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

The Strikeforce/M1-Global event of November 7, 2009 was live on network television. The main event was a match between heavyweights Fedor Emilianenko and Brett Rogers. The UFC had tried to get Fedor to fight for them, but Fedor wanted to have a joint event with M1-Global. The UFC refused. That is unfortunate. Last night’s fights were in a huge venue which looked sold out. Of the four fights, three were exciting, one not so much.

The first match-up was between heavyweights Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva. Werdum is a BJJ guy with a record of 12-4-1. Six of his wins were by submission and he has had four knockouts. His speciality is the single leg take down. Silva, at 263 lbs., is about twenty pounds heavier than Werdum, with a four inch reach advantage. With a background in Muay Thai and BJJ, Silva’s record of 13 and 1 contains nine knockouts and three submissions.

Their three round bout went the distance with Silva not wanting to go to the ground. When he had the option, he stood up and waited for Werdum to get up too. Round 1 had Silva striking Werdum solidly, knocking him down and letting him get up. Werdum applied some inside leg kicks to Silva’s lead leg. At the buzzer, Werdum was down again after receiving an elbow in the clinch.

Round 2 started with Werdum being knocked down immediately. Eventually Silva went to the ground, but Werdum turned him over and was in half guard. Silva got up and was taken down by Werdum who went from half guard to side control. When Silva snuck out, Werdum tried a knee bar.

Round 3 had both men throwing leg kicks and, when in the clinch, Werdum used his knees. Werdum then took Silva down and was on Silva’s back when Silva turtled. He twice kneed Silva’s chin and Silva struck Werdum in retaliation. When on the ground Werdum did some ground and pound from half-guard.

Unanimous decision in Werdum’s favour. 

Light heavyweight Gegard Mousasi was up next against Sokoudjou (who was called Terry twice). Mousasi’s record is 26-2-1 with fifteen knockouts and nine submissions. His background is boxing with his favourite technique being the jab. Sokoudjou has a record of seven and four with six knockouts. He has a black belt in judo and the leg kick is his favourite technique.

Round 1 began with Sokoudjou connecting with leg kicks. He then tried a take down and eventually threw Mousasi, after many strikes, with a hip throw that looked a lot like harai goshi but without the leg. After some ground work, Sokoudjou again threw Mousasi, this time with o soto gari. The men went through a variety of arm bar and choke attempts including a Kimura (ude garami) and a front naked choke (hadaka jime).

Round 2 started in the clinch with Mousasi applying an elbow and many knees. He then threw multiple strikes and knees again. Then Mousasi did the world’s slowest take down with Sokoudjou ending up in half guard. Mousasi then rolled him over and began his ground and pound which Sokoudjou couldn’t answer. Referee stoppage.

The next bout was between middleweights Jake Shields and Jason Miller. Miller came out with cheerleaders, almost getting clocked by one as he danced by. Now that would have been funny. Both these men have loads of experience, with over twenty wins each. Shields, a black belt in jiu jitsu, is much shorter (6″?) than Miller and his reach is five inches less than Miller’s. He specializes in wrestling using the single leg take down. He had won ten of his twenty-three wins by submission and went into the fight with twelve straight wins. Miller practices what he calls “slap boxing” and loves the jab. Their fight was a championship match set for five rounds.

During this fight, the audience booed a great deal. The bout went the distance so there was lots of opportunity for boredom. Shields seemed in control for the entire fight except he wasn’t capable of completing anything. Miller rolled out of any situation which looked dangerous (Shields’s using his arsenal of submission techniques). At other times, after being taken down (many times!), Miller would be sitting up, his back to the cage, and Shields would wrap up Miller’s legs with his own and stretch them out. Then Shields would throw strikes to Miller’s side. During one of the breaks, Miller’s team yelled at him to do something at the fence.

Miller suplexed Shields at the end of round 1 and slammed Shields in a take down in round 3. At the end of this round, Miller had Shields in a very tight rear naked choke, but Shields lasted until the buzzer.

Rounds four and five had Shields taking Miller down several times and ending up in the scenario I mentioned. Round 5 had Shields on Miller’s back with a figure of four around Miller’s middle, so we thought that he could finally get his submission. As with all the other attempts to submit Miller, Miller rolled out of the hold.

Shields won by unanimous decision, but the audience found much of the bout boring. Perhaps they didn’t understand the level of technique required to attempt the submissions or to stuff them.  They seemed happier when the fighters were standing.

The main card, Fedor Emilianenko versus Brett Rogers, began just before 11 p.m. EST. We actually wondered if the show were going to end at 11 and, just as we talked about it, the television went black! The picture came on again some seconds later, luckily.

Fedor is light for a heavyweight at just under six feet tall and 232 pounds. Rogers is 6’4″ and 264 lbs. with a seven inch reach advantage. Fedor’s background is in sambo and judo, whereas Rogers’s is in boxing and muay thai. Fedor’s last loss was in 2000 and Rogers went into the fight undefeated with 10-0 consisting of nine knockouts and one submission.

Almost immediately, Rogers used a left jab to break Fedor’s nose. Even injured, Fedor took Rogers down twice in the round. While on the ground, in half guard or guard, Fedor did some ground and pound. Rogers held his own, though, on the ground and standing.

Round 2 had Fedor throwing a wide hook which connected. He and Rogers were in the clinch with Fedor throwing many strikes, all of which Rogers stopped. When they were at the center of the cage, Fedor threw a right which knocked Rogers to the floor. Fedor then jumped on Rogers to continue strikes. If Rogers had not moved his leg to block Fedor, he would have been pounded to unconsciousness. Fedor attempted a few other strikes, with Rogers just covering up. TKO Referee stoppage.

Rogers was very upset with himself for losing, but he showed that he deserved to be up there fighting the best in the world. Whereas Rogers looked fine afterward, Fedor had lumps on his forehead, a broken nose and a huge gash across the nose. Fedor said he was looking for an opening and found it in the way Rogers was standing. I expect, in future, Rogers will not stand like that. Rogers was quite keen to have a rematch. 

ayjay

November 8, 2009

p.s.The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 guys should take lessons from the heavyweights we saw last night: the fights don’t have to be boring and the fighters had a variety of skills and excellent cardio. The rounds had only thirty seconds between them, yet the fighters did not looked completely exhausted, even those with injuries.

UFC 100

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Everyone I know who follows the UFC was looking forward to the one hundredth episode; there were to be three huge fights, GSP versus Thiago Alves, Brock Lesnar versus Frank Mir and The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 coaches’ fight between Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping. There promised to be talented fighters, and, hopefully, some thrilling fights and action (physical, emotional and psychological).

The first broadcast match was between a judoka, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Alan Belcher, a muay thai guy. This one went the distance, with strong kicks by Belcher, such that Akiyama’s lead leg was continually whacked, resulting in his limping by the end of round two, and take downs by Akiyama (catching the kicking leg and throwing a straight right). While on the ground, Akiyama ground forearms into Belcher’s face and applied elbows. While standing, the judo guy threw some potent punches and was accurate with his kicks.

By the third round, Akiyama was obviously fatigued and Belcher attacked the lead leg again (as far as I could see Akiyama never changed his stance, a useful thing if your leg is becoming tenderized). Akiyama must also have received a poke to his left eye: his blinking was noticeable, but nothing came of it. Despite being tired, he did a spinning back kick. Belcher did a Superman punch, using the fence to gain purchase, basically launching himself off the fence.

Akiyama had a final take down with a solid left-sided o soto gari and remained on top until the end of the round.  It was a fun fight with both men applying themselves well. Although we thought Belcher won round three, the decision was split in Akiyama’s favour.

Next up were the coaches from The Ultimate Fighter Season 9Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping. Henderson had made it known during the series that Bisping was not his favourite person, calling him a “douche bag” and wanting him to stop talking. After the finale of the series, in which three of the four finalists were from the U.K., I think he may also have wanted to prove that the U.S. was capable of winning too.

Henderson is thirty-eight, ancient in fighters’ years against Bisping’s thirty. He looked strong and far heavier than Bisping, who, since his change to middleweight, looks skinny to me. 

The first round had Bisping light on his feet, backtracking most of the time, his legs in an extremely wide stance which had the potential for being off-balance. Henderson kept his eyes on the target and followed Bisping around the octagon, connecting with a leg kick, an uppercut and multiple shots and then, when in the clinch, an elbow. Bisping had a high kick and a looping right punch.

When in another clinch, Henderson used his knees. Bisping tried a take down (against a two-time Olympian in Greco-Roman wrestling) and walked into Henderson’s right hand.

During the break, Bisping’s crew told him to move to the right, essentially away from Henderson’s right hand. In the second round, Bisping almost continually moved to the left. Henderson threw a big right, knocking Bisping out on his feet. When Bisping toppled over, Henderson jumped on him and threw another right to his jaw, more than unnecessary. Bisping was unconscious for some time. Knock Out of the Night.

Georges St-Pierre‘s bout against Thiago Alves was up next. In terms of statistics, the most amazing aspect was St-Pierre’s six inch reach advantage, although the men are only one inch difference in height.

Alves is a very strong guy. Taken down by GSP many times (eight?) during the five rounds, he muscled his way up time after time. He was unable to accomplish anything while on the bottom though. St-Pierre did not always control the match and ended up on his back once, an unusual happening for GSP, but he proved that the belt was all his. He took Alves down, would get both hooks in, force Alves to hold all his weight. He would squash Alves against the fence when standing. He switched stances - a useful thing to throw people off and protect your lead leg.

Unanimous decision in Georges-St-Pierre’s favour. GSP was gracious, saying that Alves was strong and young and would become dangerous.

This was GSP’s first fight since “greasegate”, so it was interesting to see how his corner reacted to everything, whether they would change their behaviours. They had maintained that the rubbing of his back was one of the ways they got him to calm down between rounds. That is in fact what they still did. His corner rubbed his upper back, talked to him, forced him to focus his breathing, talked about what they expected him to do in the next round, had him repeat it. When, after round four, he told his corner that he had pulled a groin, they talked him out of focussing on the groin pull. Fascinating psychological aspects to this fighting business.

The main event was between heavyweights Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar. Mir’s background is in jiu jitsu, with most of his fights ending in submissions in the first round. Lesnar is a college wrestling champion and a former WWE guy. Lesnar is also the biggest guy in the UFC right now, weighing in at 265; he might have been 285 on fight night. Mir weighed in at 245. Mir had a haematoma on his right forehead, acquired during practice, and had his left knee wrapped up completely, as well as both ankles.

Lesnar was there to avenge his only loss in the UFC, which was to Mir. He refused to touch gloves to begin the match and, from the bell, attacked Mir. He used an inside leg kick and straight punch, took Mir down, employing all his massive weight chest-to-chest. He held Mir down by grabbing Mir’s neck with his left hand, thumb applying pressure. He then wrapped his left arm around Mir’s head, controlling his head off the mat and punched short shots to Mir’s face and ribs with his right hand.

Round two had Mir on the attack with a flying knee, a variety of punches and a low kick. He was taken down again, though, the same as in round one. This time, however,  he was at the fence and Mir could not protect himself from the onslaught of Lesnar’s punches to the head and face. TKO referee stoppage.

The audience does not like Lesnar and showed their disdain. Lesnar then gave them two one-finger salutes and went around the octagon screaming, spitting and cursing. There was no need for this behaviour. It is not the WWE. He’s rude and obnoxious in the ring.

The final broadcast fight was between Jon Fitch and Paulo Thiago. Fitch is a jiu jitsu guy with wrestling and submissions as a specialty, whereas Thiago is a jiu jitsu guy with strong boxing skills. Thiago also came into the match undefeated.

This match was very technical, mostly on the ground. Fitch took Thiago down multiple times; Thaigo tried front guillotine chokes while Fitch was in his guard. Fitch seemed not to care about the chokes and at one point actually put his head back IN to the choke. Fitch took Thiago’s back with hooks in, applying many punches to Thiago’s face and ribs. In the third round, Thiago was in Fitch’s guard for some seconds, but ended up on the bottom again with another guillotine attempt. Fitch took Thiago’s back, got the hooks in and rolled with him.

Fitch dominated the match and won by unanimous decision. Unlike Lesnar’s fight against Mir, Fitch offered his hand to Thiago to help him up.

As for Fight of the Night, I can’t decide. Akiyama and Belcher’s fight was exciting and busy. It definitely wasn’t Henderson versus Bisping because Bisping didn’t accomplish anything. GSP versus Alves showed St-Pierre’s dominance in all aspects, including stamina. Lesnar versus Mir showed Lesnar’s strength and size mainly. He put his 900 pound body on Mir’s chest and pounded Mir’s face to mush. Then he was an obnoxious buffoon. Definitely NOT Lesnar versus Mir. I think Fitch versus Thiago had more Fitch than Thiago, so that fight is out.

So it could be GSP versus Alves or Akiyama versus Belcher and I’m leaning toward Akiyama and Belcher.

ayjay

July 13, 2009

p.s. The Fight of the Night was given to Akiyama and Belcher.

Judo Throws for the Non-Judo Practitioner – Pt 1

Friday, March 13th, 2009

On occasion we have people attending our class from the jiu jitsu school, or whose backgrounds are in other disciplines, specifically to work on judo throws. They may or may not have had any exposure to judo throws before. We cater to their experience and skillsets, body type, and type of tournament they are entering and teach a few judo throws to add to their arsenal. 

Right now, we have a fellow training with us to help prepare for the NAGA world championships in New Jersey at the beginning of April, 2009.  His matches will begin from standing, so his main concern is taking someone to the ground with control and to land on the ground in control. We haven’t much time to work on the throws, so initially we are working on throws he is already familiar with and then will add perhaps another few to the mix which compliment his style.

Francisco has an extensive background in karate (3rd dan), although in recent years he has been doing BJJ. Since he is strong in karate, we are not concerned with outside leg techniques; he’s been doing these for almost fifteen years.

The start position for these matches is standing and, not unlike Greco-Roman wrestling matches, the competitors tend to bend from the waist, keeping their hips/legs away from each other while keeping their heads close together.  It seems that the most common strategy is for them to simply pull guard as soon as possible.

The opponents grasp one another’s gi collar or lapel and sleeve, sometimes both sleeves at the wrist. Since they are bent forward to begin with, we are working on throws that put the opponent off-balance even further, pulling him forward or attacking at awkward or unexpected angles.

Our philosophy is to win by throwing and acquiring a dominant top position, then maintaining that position while working toward a submission via choke or lock.  Check out the book Mixed Martial Arts Unleashed for an in-depth explanation as to why we feel this is best - we don’t have room in this article!

First off is seoi nage, which Francisco already knows. We are doing a variation on ippon seoi nage, one in which his back is exposed for as short a time as possible, but still allows him to control his opponent in the forward direction. He can do this from standing or dropping to his knees. He can either drop deeply between his opponent’s legs and throw forward, or move farther outside, such that he is on his knees well to the right of the opponent and then the throw is at an angle of about 90 degrees.  He still has a tight grip on the lapel or collar and the sleeve. As soon as he drops to his knees, he angles his right shoulder to the mat: this manoeuvre makes the throw very fast and powerful and also enables the opponent to roll without drilling his head into the floor.  Since he still has control of the lapel and sleeve, he can move quickly into a hold of some kind.  We’ve also added a number of simple entries to this throw for him that involve combinations and action/reaction sequences in order to make the throw more likely to succeed.

Francisco has also used tomoe nage with good success, so we are again doing a variation of tomoe nage, but having Francisco end up on top, in the superior position. Tomoe nage is the high circle throw, in which you drop to your back while placing your foot beside your opponent’s hip or in their stomach. In the movies, you see this done with a powerful leg extension, propelling the opponent up and a long way away from the thrower.  Since we want to stay attached and wind up on top, we’ve modified this so that the leg doesn’t really kick him or even straighten out; it is used to direct him up and over. The arms are more instrumental in the direction. In Francisco’s case, we are also working on hooking the opponent’s leg either with Francisco’s hand or free leg, so that as his opponent goes over, Francisco stays attached to him, rolls with him, and lands on top.

Tawara gaeshi and sumi gaeshi can be executed the same way: as your opponent goes over your head, hook his leg with either your own leg or your arm (or hand), so that you remain attached and go over as well. You will end up on top of him and can immediately go into a groundhold.

There is also yoko tomoe nage, side high circle throw: You use your outside leg, (assuming you are holding one of your opponent’s arms, the outside leg would be the leg further away from him) planting your foot sideways onto his stomach. At the same time, you drop to your back, twisting such that you are about ninety degrees to his body. You can throw your opponent to one side of your body or the other depending on how much he is fighting the throw and/or how deeply you manage to get under him – either way allows you to end up on top.

Another throw which lends itself well to this starting technique of heads close together is a variation of o soto gari, sort of a combination o soto gari and koshi guruma - o soto gari’s leg movement and koshi guruma’s arm placement. If you’re doing a right-sided version, give your opponent a slight jolt to his right, causing him to try to straighten up, then go in at an angle while wrapping your right arm around his shoulders and your left hand tightly grasping his right sleeve. Sweep out his far leg with your right leg and go down to the ground with him.  He’s already in a groundhold when he lands.

 We have also worked on sasae tsurikomi ashi, propping drawing ankle throw: you grasp your opponent’s lapel with your right hand in order to lift his torso, while simultaneously blocking his right ankle and pulling the right sleeve horizontally to the left. As he falls, move your right arm around his shoulders and go to the ground with him. Change the grip on his sleeve as well. You will be in a groundhold (kesa gatame) right away.

Although Francisco has had experience with a few judo throws, non-judo practitioners can pick up these variations of judo throws and handily use them when needed. For videos of judo throws with gi, go to the Traditional Judo section of this website; videos of no-gi judo throws may be found in the Judo for MMA section of this site.

Click here to go to Judo Throws for the Non-Judo Practitioner - Pt 2

ayjay

March 13, 2009

I Can’t Do That Judo Technique Because…

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

When I was first learning judo, not only was I older and shorter than every other adult in the class, I had never done anything remotely like this before. I studied lots of judo books and paid close attention in class, asked lots of questions, practiced everything we were shown and still could not do many things. I became frustrated when I couldn’t accomplish a technique easily, or as easily as others in the class.

As I became more involved in the classes and realized my abilities, I learned to compensate for size differences such as height, weight, and body mass.  Traditional judo throws are taught a certain way; however, if you are five foot two, how can you be expected to hoist that six foot guy onto your shoulders to do kata guruma? If you have arthritis in your fingers, how can you do those chokes which involve grasping the lapels and collars? If you have short legs, how can you do a figure-of-four around your opponent’s torso for do jime (body choke)? If your opponent is barrel-chested, how do you accomplish tate shiho gatame (full mount position) without being tossed to the side?

We all must show proficiency in techniques in order to attain our belts in judo; however, in randori, whether tachi waza or ne waza (standing or ground techniques), when fighting with another person, there are no rules as to which technique you may use. That is when you employ those techniques which suit your body type, body mass, height and weight.

I tend to dwell on those judo techniques which I do well and alter the way I do those techniques which don’t come naturally or, for whatever reason, are difficult to do. For example, my throwing Dave with kata guruma (shoulder throw or fireman’s carry): we do a version in which I have one knee on the ground the whole time. I don’t stand up; I wouldn’t be able to anyway. Rob is so strong that kata guruma is child’s play to him, so it suits him completely.

If you are very tall, throwing a short person with forward throws, such as seoi nage or o goshi, may be extremely difficult; getting low enough to be under uke’s center of gravity may be uncomfortable or impossible. Backward throws may suit far better, such as, o soto gari (major outer reaping), o soto guruma (major outer wheel) and many others. Foot techniques are ideal for those among us with big flippers.

The arthritis means that I can’t choke people with the gi, but hadaka jime (naked choke) and others are fair game.

That short-legged fellow who can’t do the figure-of-four in order to do do jime dwells on his abilities: he’s very strong and agile and despite his short legs has developed little manoeuvres and holds (ankle locks, for instance) when grappling that more than compensate for the techniques which he cannot do and make him extremely dangerous.

Dealing with that barrel-chested guy when applying tate shiho gatame (vertical four quarters lock or hold, also called North-South position) involves posting an arm or leg, even though that may be considered unorthodox. When grappling a guy whose body mass is bigger than yours, you have to modify your moves.

Applying ashi gatame (leg arm lock) may be difficult for the long-legged to apply to someone who has short, stocky arms, but ude garami (entangled arm lock) works just fine. 

Since everyone is different, we must work with the individual to determine which judo techniques best suit him or her. That may involve changing the technique drastically from the traditional judo, but the purpose is to apply the technique, win with it, and to enjoy the class along the way. Perhaps that is one reason we like our classes so much: we can study and alter a technique until we can get it to work in a certain situation against a particular person or position. There are limited rules to follow and almost unlimited variations which can be applied.

ayjay

February 17, 2009