Plan of Action

I want to compete in March.

I want to compete, and I want to win.

It’s far away (an hour and a half drive, I think), and it’s already a quarter of the way through the year, so I have to start my winning ways.

I don’t want to come home without a medal.

So I have just over a month to prepare. My last performance (my first at blue belt), I lost via submission in a few minutes in the first fight, and lost a close match on points in the absolute division. So I have a big leap to make if I want to do well this time.

Where I am at now.
Here’s the situation now. I’m just getting back into regular gear after a few months of on and off training, time off, and illnesses due to the shitty cold weather. I’m about a kilo away from the pena weight limit (up to 70kg with the gi) so losing the weight should be no problem at all. Just cut out deserts, donuts and biscuits for a few weeks.

Conditioning wise, my job teaching kids is hard work, I cycle and walk every day, and even during quiet periods I train a couple of times a week. So not too bad. But, I definitely don’t have the juice to go 110% for the full six minutes, which is my aim.

Strength wise, I’ve been sloppy at using my weights and chin up bar lately, so I’m not as strong as I could be.

Skill wise, I feel I just clawed my way into blue belt by the skin of my eyeballs, but since then, I’ve settled into it. So I believe I’m an average blue for now. I can triangle people and scissors sweep people and armbar people, but if I get caught snoozing I get swept on my butt, my open/spider/butterfly guard needs work and I can only think of about 3 things at a time.

Pumpitude wise, I’m pretty low.

How to fix it.
Pumpitude
I’m going to basically headbutt the wall a few times, watch lots of jiu jitsu fights, watch my old jiu jitsu fights, punch some trees in the mouth, kick a few dogs, read some wing chun forums until I get nerd-rage, and generally claw at random passers-by to increase my level of pumpitude.

Conditioning
Jiu jitsu: push myself at all times until I can go for six minutes at a time, all out, maybe five or six times in a row. Attend at least one circuit training class (10 to 11:30pm… yikes.) a week. Judo: keep up the drills and randori on Wednesday nights. Make every push up, sit up and pull up count.

Strength
At least twice a week, push myself to use my chin up bar, my free weights and my exercise ball. Stick to basics, fifteen or so reps, 3 or so sets. I’m not exactly trying to be Arnold Stallone here, just a little to improve my strength. That’s along with the usual zillions of pushups and situps at jiu jitsu.

Skill
Watch a bunch of fights and instructional DVDs, pick my instructor’s brains, but basically just keep it simple and come up with a gameplan.

Standup work
The Wednesday night judo practice is doing wonders for my confidence. Before, the single scariest thing about competing was the standup. I had no fucking idea what to do. So even though I know I’m not going to judo flip anyone on their head, at least I won’t be quivering with inexperience when the guy yells “combate”.

The gameplan
Watch this space. But basically I am going to work in broad strokes beforehand, and leave the fine details to paint themselves in on the day.

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PUMPED about NYE?!?!?!

So the New Years Eve MMA scene in Japan went from being about as exciting as watching men’s figure skating to as awesome as inhaling TNT whilst boning Lucy Liu during an earthquake with two tiny crocodiles nibbling on your nipples.

First, K1’s Dynamite spectacular.

We are going to see Rani Yahya against Yamamoto Kid. Kid showed in his last fight that he can be really pushed by a strong and skilled, elite-level BJJer. Yahya may not be as strong as Bibiano Fernandes, but his BJJ is world-class (as Joe Rogan would say in between frowning at Mike Goldberg’s overenthusiastic use of the word “teep”). Kid is always exciting, so this should be a fantastic fight.

We are going to see Sakuraba against Funaki. Putting aside the fact that these two guys combined ages probably reaches over 100, this is going to be awesome. Two absolute legends, and they both like a bit of the old grapple grapple, so it should be a chessmatch between two greats. Here’s hoping it’s not a fly-swatting match between two pensioners, or a yawn-inducing snooze fest a-la Gracie Sakuraba II.

Then there’s the rumours of Kharitonov, Minowaman, Tokoro, and Melvin Manhoef (last spotted ripping the heads off babies and skewering them on his penis) all competing which pretty much make this a can’t miss.

Second, the revival of Pride… or is it? A quick glance at the website ( http://www.yarennoka.com/ )reveals that Pride’s Japanese web designer clearly wasn’t out of a job for long… I also hear that Sato Daisuke will be involved. He’s the one who made all the majorly pump-tastic introduction clips for the Japanese broadcasts of Pride… I compiled a couple here.  Basically, everyone who was involved in Pride is involved in this special event. Yarennoka means “Can’t we do it?!” and was one of Antonio Inoki’s catchphrases. His others being the equally as inventive “ONE TWO THREE DAAAAAAAAAAH” and its derivate, “DAAAAAAAAAAAAA” (while slapping you in the face.)

Basically a bunch of the Japanese MMA scene’s bigwigs got together ( Monte Cox (CEO of M-1 Global), Shigeru Saeki (DEEP) and Sadaharu Tanigawa (FEG)) and decided to make a totally awesome MMA spectacular, and a shitload of cash for themselves. They all claim this is a farewell to Pride, rather than a revival. Takada is on board… you may remember him from such disasters as “Man with a nappy on bangs a huge drum for ten minutes”. Takada said he’d only get involved with Yarennoka if he could get Gomi on the card. Well that didn’t happen, but still…

We are going to see Shinya Aoki against Gesias Cavalcante. This has got Japanese MMA fans salivating harder than Gabe Ruediger in a Mister Donut. Can Aoki’s high-flying submission style beat the ape-like strength and aggression of “JZ Calvan”? (Hint: no. Aoki will take too much punishment trying to reverse boston crab JZ’s earlobes.)

Then there is the strong possibility of Fedor fighting the Techno Goliath, Choi Hong Man. While I am disappointed that such a great man has been reduced to a comedy match worthy of a K-1 main event, I am also pretty pumped to see Fedor pummelerizing the be-tumoured one’s rather large head into a giant Korean flavoured pancake. Other rumoured competitors include Mitsuhiro Ishida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Kazuo Misaki, Joachim Hansen, Luiz Azeredo, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Melendez, Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Hunt… basically, it is going to be sweeeeeeeet as.

I’m pretty pumpalised about the whole thing, really.

If you’d like to keep up with Japanese MMA news, I recommend the following sites. Bookmark them if you haven’t already!

http://nightmareofbattle.wordpress.com/
http://sukimma.blogspot.com/
http://www.fightopinion.com/

Someone from my dojo fighting

Sugi-pro, in the black pants.

Hell of a fight.

Man Vs. Woman NHB

Check this crap out!

Clicky! 

People frum mah gymz, in ur ringz winnin ur fightz

Two peeps from my gym (Paraestra Hakata) won their professional fights recently.

Okumiya and Sugi-pro.

Okumiya I know kind of well, since he speaks really good English (complete with New Zealand bloody accent mate!) and we got pissed up a couple of times at various Paraestra parties.

Here he is. What a handsome chap!

Sugi-pro I only know a little. We sparred once in one of my rare shooto training sessions and naturally he kickalised my bottom.

Anyway, they both won, advancing to the next round of the Shooto Rookie tournament, which is freakin’ sweet. This really is a step up the ladder. If they do well, and get wins in the tournament and go pro, well it’s only a matter of time until they get famous (providing they actually succeed.) Pride generally skims the cream of the crop from Shooto at various points and turns them into superstars (Mach Sakurai, Takanori Gomi, Shinya Aoki, etc. – BE sure to check that last link to see the arm-break in the first few seconds. OUCH!)

Okumiya is a really nice guy, despite his badass exterior… Very humble and friendly. But in the ring or on the mat… Yikes.

You can see the results here.
Scroll down to see our friend flipping the bird at the camera. In his post fight interview, he said he was going for the omoplata (Hello machinemind!) but ended up getting pounded to fuck. He felt nearly unconscious taking those punches, but ended up winning the decision.

He also said that training is incredibly different to competing at a pro level. (I’ve watched them train hard at our gym… they really go at it, but rarely do they actually punch the shit out of each other, especially on the ground.)

I’m going training, WOO!

My first highlight video!

The finals of the 2006 Pride Openweight GP.

I hope you like it. I do.

Some of the editing is a little rough, and I wish I had some higher quality video to work with, but anyway… enjoy!

There are no fancy visual tricks — so it’s important to crank the music up!

Greatest fight in a long, long time.

Hot damn, this fight was so awesome.

I will edit this post to say something useful when I have time.