Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chael Sonnen Is Going WHERE For His Next Coaching Stint?

As far as my UFC 166 predictions went, I am five for six.  However, since I wasn't able to afford the event, I don't have anything to say.  That is not the case for the headline I saw today on FOX Sports on MSN, which said that Chael Sonnen will be coaching opposite Wanderlei Silva in Brazil! 

Chael Sonnen is definitely the ballsiest MMA fight alive.  Watching him and Wanderlei go at it will certainly be entertaining.   That being said, this does not seem like the wisest move.  Sonnen thoroughly trashed Brazil while he was preparing for his rematch with Anderson Silva.  Not only will he need to be surrounded by armed guards 24/7, but his team probably won't be thrilled to have him as a coach.  I wouldn't be surprised if they revolted.  At any rate, I hope that the UFC takes the necessary steps to ensure his personal safety.

You can read more about this here:


Saturday, October 19, 2013

My UFC 166 Predictions

Unfortunately, I won't be able to see this awesome event.  Nonetheless, here are my predictions for tonight's card.

Bonus prediction: Kaufman vs. Eye.

I don't normally predict prelims, but Kaufman is one of my favorite WMMA fighters and a former Strikeforce bantamweight champ.  I see her knocking out Eye in Round 2. 

Winner: Kaufman

Dodson vs. Montague:  This is easy.  Dodson takes this via KO.

Winner: Dodson

Gonzaga vs. Jordan:  There is no way that this one is going the distance.  The first person to slip up is going to sleep, and I think that person is going to be Jordan.

Winner: Gonzaga

Melendez vs. Sanchez:  I strongly suspect that this will be the "Fight of the Night."  With his aggression, speed, and cardio, I believe that Melendez will take the decision.

Winner: Melendez

Cormier vs. Nelson:  Nelson has a strong chin and BJJ background, so I don't think that Cormier will finish him.  Nonetheless, I believe that the former Olympian will outwrestle him en route to a decision.

Winner: Cormier

Velasquez vs. Dos Santos:  Even though Dos Santos will probably show up in better health this time around, I believe that this match will end the same way as their second fight.  Dos Santos will gas and Velasquez will beat him pillar-to-post to another unanimous decision.

Winner: Velasquez

Thursday, October 17, 2013

How Kata Will Improve Your Self-Defense

So you currently study a practical self-defense system like Krav Maga.  Awesome!  You now have all of the tools necessary to defend yourself.  Do you need to study kata as well?  Nope.  Should you do it anyway?  Oh heck yeah!

Why?  Because practicing kata will:

1) Improve your focus and situational awareness
2) Improve your flexibility, breathing, endurance, and fluidity of movement
3) Will show you creative ways to apply your self-defense techniques

In other words, it will allow you to use your combatives more effectively!

Studying kata makes you the TEFL teacher who has a master's in Literature, or the engineer who has a doctorate in Physics.  It gives you that "extra edge" that allows you to implement your practical skills in new and innovative ways.  Not to mention that you will be better prepared for the rare scenario in which your assailant has been trained in modern combat or martial arts. 

So how many kata should you study?  At least four: two from a hard style like Shotokan and two from a soft style like Kung Fu.  A hard kata will show you powerful, linear attacks which will teach you how to generate knockout power.  A soft kata will teach you fluid, circular attacks which will show you how to use your opponent's strength against them.  Learning two of each is important for the sake of variety.  At the same time, you don't want to overdo it.  Studying too many kata will interfere with your practical self-defense training and ultimately lead to burnout.  Unless you plan to teach martial arts for a living, or it is a fun hobby for you, I recommend that you cap it at seven kata.  That way, you can do a different one each day, enough to keep it interesting.  So as soon as you have a solid foundation in practical self-defense, find a traditional martial arts school and study the kata.  Doing so will improve your technique in ways that you can only imagine. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Three More Martial Arts Styles Which I Want To Learn Before I Die

I could easily train in martial arts 24/7.  Unfortunately, I have been called to work in a different field, so it will have to be a hobby for me.  For that reason, I have cut the number of additional combat styles that I want to learn down to three.  They are:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:  With a BJJ black belt, I won't be completely screwed if someone knocks me on my butt.  Not to mention that subbing your training partners is just plain fun.

Wrestling:  This will make it much easier for me to keep an assailant from taking me to the ground.  In addition, I want to learn how to throw someone from the clinch.  That would be safer than going for the legs and taking a knee or 12-6 elbows to the back of my head and neck.     

Capoiera:  As a black man, I want to honor my ancestors by studying a martial art with African roots.  Not only will it improve my striking through teaching me how to attack from different angles, but it will also teach me timing, balance, and how to catch my assailant off-guard. 

Even though the traditional Asian martial arts are a great source of techniques and knowledge, I want to go off the beaten path.  While my Shotokan training has been invaluable, I am satisfied with my first-degree black belt.  I also don't want to fall into the trap of thinking that "my style" is the best, as many traditional martial artists do.  To be a truly great martial artist, you need to study multiple styles.  I may not become the greatest fighter alive, but I am determined to do the best that I can.   

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My New Reason For Pursuing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

At first, I wanted to study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so that I could do all of the cool submissions which I saw in the UFC.  Not to mention that choking an assailant unconscious seemed much more humane to me than breaking their ribs and knees with my front kick.  That being said, I came to realize that there would be three drawbacks to making subs the focus of my BJJ training.

1) I'm a muscular man in his twenties.  Very few people will be stupid enough to attack me alone.  If I get Gary the Gangsta in a kimura from the guard, what's to stop his homeboys from soccer-kicking my head into oblivion?

2) If someone does attack me one-on-one, they will probably be armed.  For that reason, going for a triangle choke against a guy with a switchblade or a pistol sounds like a funeral in the making.

3) There are many ways to get out of a submission hold which are barred from the cage.  For example, what's to stop a street fighter from going "Golden Corral" on my arm when I go for that rear naked choke?  Biting may not be an honorable way of fighting, but violent criminals aren't known for their honor.  They're known for jacking people up, and that can involve eye-gouging, ripping off your nuts (if you're a dude), attacking "above the belt" (if you're a girl) or worse! 

So while I will still learn the submission holds, they will not be my focus.  Instead, I am going to master the sweeps, a.k.a. the art of getting the heck back up!  That way, I can hightail it out of there before I get a fatal beatdown from a bunch of teenage gangbangers.  I'll also be in a better position to disarm my attacker before they cut me to ribbons or put a bullet in my butt.  Not to mention that I will be able to avoid the biting, eye-gouging, throat-grabbing scramble that a real fight on the ground usually turns into.  And that, my friends, is the real value of BJJ: it teaches you how to escape with your life!