Off Topic: JapanLOL

Japan makes me laugh sometimes.

It’s like the entire country has a mazacon (mother complex), an Oedipus Complex.

Everywhere you go, there is a soothing female (sometimes male) voice reassuring you that everything is fine.

Example:

Elevators. This is an example of your average elevator journey in Japan (translated, naturally.)

Good morning! Welcome to the elevator. Please step in. The doors are opening now, please watch your step. Thank you. Please choose a floor. You have chosen a floor. The doors are closing now, please be careful. The elevator is moving now. The elevator has arrived. The doors will be opening shortly, please watch out! Thank you. The doors will close now. Be careful. See you. But watch out. Ok I’m leaving now. Bye. Careful.

Apart from the ending where I got a bit carried away, it really is like that. All delivered in the squeakiest little girl voice.

On buses, the bus driver has a microphone and gives a running commentary for the whole journey. It really is this bad:

Hello exulted customers. This is the 1-2 bus to Nokonoshima. The doors are opening now. Would anyone like to get on this bus? Yes, welcome. Please sit down. The bus will be moving shortly, be careful. Please excuse me. The bus is pulling away. The bus has pulled away. The bus will be stopping shortly, please be careful. The bus has stopped for a moment. Please wait. The bus will be moving again, forgive me for disturbing you. The bus will shortly be turning to the left, do watch out. The next stop is Yadda yadda street. Would anybody like to get off here? Alright, I will be stopping the bus now. The bus is stopping. Excuse me. The doors are opening. The doors have opened. I’m sorry. The bus is leaving again. I am touching myself. I will shortly begin decapitating my passengers. I’m wearing women’s underwear.

You get the picture.

Today while getting my leg strapped up I managed to snap this brilliant picture. It is a full A3 sized poster devoted entirely, and with no hint of comedy, to ensuring that you remember to take the pill out of the aluminium and plastic wrapping before you try to swallow it.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go, my Bladder-tron 3000 is politely reminding me to go to the bathroom where my toilet will explain to me in a soothing voice how to take a dump before giving me a full-service buttwash.

WTF…

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DREAM matches!

I’ve just cast my votes over at the DREAM website for who I think should fight next in the middle and lightweight GPS.

You can do the same!

Head here for the middleweight matchups, and here for the lightweights.

It’s really easy, the fighters’ names appear in the dropdown menu in the same order that they appear in the picture above. You will see the fighter’s picture once you select him, anyway.

Once you are done, press the big blue button at the bottom.

Here are my pics.

Middleweight:

I have Kin Taei-whatsisname against Mousasi. I think this could be a good fight and hope that Mousasi get’s through it.

Then the Dongbar against Zelg Galesic, who I think is awesome and showed much improved ground skills in his last outing. I think the Dongbar will take it though, as Galesic is too green to be winning any GPs just yet.

I’ve got Sakuraba against Mayhem, because I think that would be an awesome fight and I think there would be some lovely-jubbly jiu jitsu on display there.

And Jacare vs. Tamura, which I think will be a great fight, and will test Jacare.

I hope that the next round will have Mousasi, Dongbar, Sakuraba or Miller, and Jacare.

Lightweight:

I quite like Caoru Uno, and was very impressed by his handling of Ishida, but I personally don’t think he has enough star quality to win something like this. Eddie Alvarez is on a tear and this could be his breakout performance. These two will show a good fight.

The other dude I don’t really care about, but I hope Aoki gets through and the final will be Aoki / Alvarez.

Head over and cast your votes, let me know how you chose!

More Copa Paraestra Stuff…

Test of a different video hosting service…

And Patrick at Murasaki BJJ’s great write up of the day.

Damien Maia – Science of Jiu Jitsu

I watched some of Damien Maia’s Science of Jiu Jitsu, which you can buy here.

It was pretty good. His explanations were sometimes a little hesitant but I think that’s because he is speaking English rather than his native language. And more power to him, very impressive. I am sure later instructionals when his English has improved will be even better.

There were a few pointers he gave about the triangle that I liked.

– He pointed out something we all know but was good to get a solid reminder. When the opponent’s elbow is close to the body (“closed” as he called it) they have power. When the elbow is brought out, like a chicken wing, it loses a lot of power (“open”.)

– A recurring theme, then, was rather than fight an opponent’s grip on your pants by grabbing at his gi on the wrist and yanking, you should instead open his elbow so that he has less power, and then kick your legs. Much easier.

– Countering the half guard pass, somewhere I find myself a lot: You are on your right side, opponent is passing to your right. You have the half guard on his right leg, he has right underhook. As he puts his weight on your body and grips your inside right pant leg to pin your leg to the floor and pass, you grip his wrist with your right hand and straightarm him. Using the straight arm gives you more stability than a bent arm. It is structurally stronger (but only in certain situations.) Maintain this grip and straight arm, then kick your right leg out and over his head. The triangle is there for you already. You can only do this when his weight is up and on you, as he is passing. If he is sitting low to the floor you don’t really have room to manouvre.

– Another triangle setup: after a failed hip bump, he moves his hand back to counterbalance, you slap on the triangle. More detail: I hip bump to my right. My right arm on the floor, hips pushing into his left side. He puts his left arm back to post out on the floor. I continue the turn until my chest is facing the floor. Then, I have space to bring my right leg out from under his arm, then spin back around and onto my back, pulling him down into the triangle.

Goal is to try these out next training session. My triangle is coming along well, so the more I can add to it, the better it will be.

ぼくのとけいわざですよ!

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/

My comp from a few months ago

First blue belt competition. I knew I’d lose, but just wanted to guage the waters.

Result? Deep!

I lost.
No excuses, everyone was way better than me. But I had a great time. It was only my first time as blue belt, so I am not too bothered about the losses. I had a good day.

In the first fight, I only wanted to do one thing… surprise the guy. He was the favourite to win the whole comp, and instead of being timid, I wanted to really go for it. I told my team -I am going to do a surprise move at the beginning of the fight. Just watch!- Man, I could watch the first sweep again and again… 🙂 He choked me out fairly convincingly in the end though. I was seeing stars.

The second fight went a little better, I just lost position towards the end and lost points. I had been going well until then with a couple of nice sweeps. It was a good fight though and he has a lot of experience on me.

I got a good feeling for what it is like to compete at blue belt level, and I got away without any injuries, so all in all, a good day.

Started Judo.

Wednesday nights, at a local junior high school.

A couple of peeps from jiu jitsu are judo black belts and are teaching there for free. Also there is an old sensei-type dude who surprised the shit out of me by talking to me with an African-English accent! Turns out he was chief of police somewhere in Zambia for 10 years, armbarring stray elephants or something.

Judo is:
Fun
Old fashioned
Ouch
Exhausting
Different to jiu jitsu
Going to help my overall strength, fitness, and hopefully, standup skills

Judo is not:
Too difficult to grasp
For the faint-hearted
That different to jiu jitsu
Cheese