Nino Schembri’s New Vid

Courtesy of Budo Videos blog

Nice production!

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The Ultimate Fighter Intro: Redux

With an unexpected afternoon off work and a new musical discovery (Dead Can Dance), I boshed together my own take on the TUF intro.

It is nothing special, I did no fancy editing, I just wanted to give it a different flavour. I tried to do it “Pride style” if you will, with the “epic, earth-shattering consequences” feeling that Sato Daisuke somehow managed to capture in all his videos.

Enjoy!

Tell me what you think. Would you like a TUF that was presented in a more dramatic way, or does it not fit? Do you prefer the nu-metal soundtrack, the locker-room samurai feel?

I am so average.

Photo and video at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday was the Copa South Japan BJJ Cup. I entered both my category and the absolute, and lost by submission in both of them.

Shit!

I have no excuse other than I just wasn’t good enough. I did quite a lot of training for this, in the dojo and out, and felt ready, but my skill and my conditioning just wasn’t up to par. I was tapping people of all belts out left right and centre in the dojo but on the competition mat it wasn’t nearly so easy.

My coach always tells me about when he was starting out. I think he said he didn’t lose a fight at all at blue belt. There’s someone unique. Me, I’ve lost all four of my fights so far… I think I’m resigning myself that blue belt is going to be a long hard slog of painful averageness. It’s just going to be a question of putting the time in before I get better.

My pace, my pace, as they say in Japan.

In the first fight, I thought I had him in the first minute. I sunk in a pretty deep triangle almost immediately and squeezed for all I was worth. But he was slippery, and managed to escape in the end. On video the fight looks quite close but he scored a lot of points on me after that. Then choked the shit out of me. That was really annoying. It was frustrating to be so close with the triangle and unable to finish. I need to work on my finishing.

In the second fight I was a little scared. I was up against a 90-kilo monster in the absolute. (I’m about 67.) I just watched him wrench an 86-kilo guy’s leg till something went pop. It was the first time I became quite worried about being injured.

I went for it though and when I got my hands on him he didn’t seem to have the godlike strength I imagined him to. I was able to work from guard for a bit, threaten with a couple of sweeps, but then he started to pass before going for a leglock. That was pretty surprising, it’s the first time anyone has ever gone for my leg in a comp. I was able to defend but he was so big I couldn’t take his back. He switched to the guard and triangled me. I held off for a gentlemenly few seconds and when I started to feel blackness closing in, I tapped. And tapped. And tapped some more. But the fucker didn’t let go.

He only held on for a few extra seconds but with somebody that big squeezing your head a few seconds is enough. I felt like I was going to sleep but managed to muster up the energy to slap him on the back a few times so that it was very obvious I was tapping.

He had held it because the ref hadn’t seen that I tapped. He held it until someone saw it.

I think that was unnecessary. Even if nobody saw it I would have acknowledged that I tapped and he would have won. Still, I guess the guy wasn’t taking anything for granted and if it meant nap-time for me then so be it.

Lessons learned:

1) LEARN HOW TO FINISH THE FUCKING TRIANGLE and all its variations

2) I need to be physically stronger.

3) Train, train, train.

I really don’t have the slightest bit of an imposing presence on the mat, whereas most of the other guys there look tough and mean. I don’t have that going for me, so I need to make sure my strength and skills are up to par to be able to compete. Still, even at this local competition, and only at blue belt level, the winners are serious motherfuckers. Everybody who won on the day was ripped when they took their shirts off. No hobbyists here. These guys are in the gym lifting when they aren’t on the mat training.

There is another competition in June so I’ll treat this one as a tune up and do my best in the next one.

Oh, and I had the pleasure of meeting Patrick (and his girlfriend), author of Murasaki BJJ, a fellow jiu jitsu blogger. He is a blue belt himself but currently too far away from a dojo to train regularly. It was great to meet him and I hope to see him at future competitions. I forgot to ask… what weight are you dude? I don’t want to fight you, I have a losing record against Hawaiians!

On to the video.

I was feeling so good in training that I started making a video. I was enjoying this epic song I found (Last Man Standing by Hybrid) and so started making something epic. Then I turned out performing pretty crappily, so the video is kind of aborted… still, enjoy!

Amazing Balance Ball Video – Leo Vieira, Andre Galvao

I edited this clip from the Submission Fighter DVD.

I had to share it with you guys!

Having spent a while with a balance ball and having about as much balance as a drunk kangaroo doing a handstand, what these guys can do pretty much blows my mind. Jumping on a moving ball and holding still?! What in the name of shoulder-mounted plasma cannons?!

So, enjoy the vid… Two of the world’s greatest jiu jitsu guys just chilling and showing off on the balance ball. I kept the stuff after too, because I enjoyed watching it. A couple of fearsome fighters just being totally normal and playing around with some kids in the dojo.

If you liked this video please feel free to put it on your own blog with a little link back to here.

DREAM 2 Video, plus more

Found at Nightmare of Battle, a great place to stop by for up to date Japanese MMA news.

NOB said it was a “great” video. I agree with him (or her?) to a point. It’s good because it has a bunch of famous fighters in it. But man, DREAM is in dire need of Sato Daisuke to step in and show a brother how to edit a promo video. That video had oodles of potential to be gut-bustingly awesomely pumperific. But instead it was flat and uninspiring.

Check out some of Mr. Sato’s work to see how it should be done:

My all-time favourites, the Pride GP 2004 Final Round opening and the promo for Cro Cop vs. Fedor… Brings a tear to the eye, spelling mistakes and all…


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Uploaded by torihada_man

TUF Shit: An Ultimate Fighter Blog Ep: 4

Jesse, the guy who won last week’s fight, looks like the kind of guy who walks into the bathroom with a bottle of ketchup in his hand and then stops and goes “Huh?” and looks at the ketchup, then the toilet, then the ketchup again, and then headbutts a hole in the door and eats the whole ketchup container. He seems to use words to express himself in much the same way as a monkey might use a big stick to pry sweet, sweet ants from a tree… clumsily. No offense to him.

Matthew Riddle does that annoying finger clicking thing which makes me instantly want to see his face being pulver-smasholated.

Rampage riffs with his team and they respond with nervous laughter and white-boy mumbling. I’m reminded of all the times a black person has made me feel spectacularly uncool. A guy once bumped into me on the street here in Japan and was all “Hey wassup yo, where the party at, yo? Where the weed at?” and I was all, “Ah! Hello! Yes. The party, hey? Hmm, well… I believe there was a party… over there somewhere, and… perhaps… you could go there… I gave up smoking pot, though, so…” and then the guy kind of slunk off with a pitying smile on his face.

The characters on this season do seem to be trying quite hard to make things interesting but I’m finding it very difficult to give a shit about anyone. Riddle is a young, annoying man. Tim Credeur is an older and slightly less annoying person, another one of those “got the Hagakure in the post this morning. Samurais RULE.” kind of guy.

To be fair, I loved the fight. It was a lot of fun. Very back and forth, with both fighters showing heart and skill. Credeur’s experience proved to be the deciding factor in the end, though.

Rampage looks very annoyed in the next episode. Perhaps a certain bald tourettes sufferer elbowed him softly in the ribs and whispered “Quinton, darling, nothing much is happening so far. Be a doll and start fucking tearing stuff up, would you? Fucking shit bitch cocks.”

Night of the Running Man and other such nonsense

UFC 48 - Payback

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I won’t bore you with the same tripe being regurgitated by ten million other blogs out there, and just say a few things that I felt watching the card.

I really enjoyed it. The only fight I skipped through was Kalib Starnes vs. Nate Quarry, and then in the end I had to go back and watch it because of the controversy. Thank you, Nate Quarry, for providing some entertainment in what would have otherwise been a ridiculously boring fight. Here’s one of the better videos (jeez you guys are fast, it takes me about three days to export anything from Premiere… piece of shit!)

Quarry came across as a really top bloke. He was funny and well-spoken, and probably scared shitless of the godless killing machine cult that is ATT. How the fuck Starnes is still in ATT, which makes you swear some kind of blood allegiance to honour and awesomeness, is beyond me.

I actually got just as excited for Bisping vs. McCarthy as I did for Serra vs. St. Pierre, just because Bisping is a Brit. He looked pretty mean out there and successfully ignored McCarthy’s antics. Who the fuck is captain miserable anyway? I have never, ever heard his name mentioned as anybody worth watching at all. He is a mosquito bite on the arse of the UFC and how they managed to drum up any kind of hype for him to fight Bisping is beyond me. Luckily, The Count tore him a new one and did so in style. I’m looking forward to his next test at 185.

Franklin / Lutter was pretty good, although Lutter looked like he had spent about half the preceding months training jiu jitsu and the other half eating double cheeseburgers and watching Family Guy. What the fuck? He was exhausted after about four minutes. Franklin and his strangely circular arms looked pretty good, although what is his reward, another merciless drubbing from Anderson Silva? No thanks.

I generally tend to avoid jokes as simple as pointing at someone and yelling “GAY” but Rich Franklin, You Are A Gay. *points*

Rich Franklin and Jorge Gurgel

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And, naturally, GSP de-pulverated Matt Serra. Everybody is being too nice to throw the word “fluke” around when talking about Serra’s original win over GSP, but I’m flinging it with extra gusto directly at your face. It was a fluke (much as I love Matt Serra), and GSP righted the universe the other night.

I’m still pumped for Hughes / Serra, though I need a few cheesy UFC hype videos to remind me about the bad blood between these two warriors who will leave it all in the octagon and warrior with blood and spirit warrior.

Overall, a very entertaining card.

Is it typical at Canadian events to have such a vocal crowd singing songs? Or was it the English contingent there for Bisping? Either way it sounded like a football (soccer) stadium, it was great.