DVD Review: 'Sambo & Catch Wrestling Seminar' with Stephen Koepfer and Kris Iatskevich

Ahead of the M-1 Global Fedor Emelianenko vs Jeff Monson fight Sunday morning at The Olympic Sports Complex in Moscow, Russia, what better way to whet our appetites than a DVD instructional review that features some of the techniques and strategies we may get to witness when the two heavyweights collide.

Fedor Emelianenko is a multiple World Combat Sambo champion with a storied MMA career, while Jeff Monson is an MMA veteran himself who has found championship success in the world of Submission Grappling with 2 ADCC championships and 1 CBJJ No Gi Worlds open weight championship. While not strictly Catch Wrestling based per se, Monson has shown a wrestling base benefit him in his fights and matches and has on occasion employed neck cranks for victories including a step-over neck crank from the stockade position - the hold Brock Lesnar successfully employed against Frank Mir in their second fight that allowed him to Ground and Pound Mir for much of the first round. Monson is also well known for his North-South choke which in some circles can be called the Monson choke because of his success with it.

The seminar was shot in the summer of 2009 and spans 3 discs.

The first disc covers Catch Wrestling with International Submission Wrestling Alliance (ISWA) founder Kris Iatskevich who is based near Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Iatskevich learned his craft from the late Edouard Carpentier, a professional wrestler and gymnast from France who had been in the ring with the likes of Karl Gotch and Lou Thesz, and was inducted into the Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Iatskevich starts us off with a warm up featuring Hindu Squats, Hindu Pushups, Neck Bridges and sit-out drills which are the norm for catch wrestlers that take their cue from the classical wrestling styles of India and Persia. We then learn about working from All-4's or Turtle position both offensively and defensively, before going onto the Catch Wrestling take on bent armlocks such as the Double Wrist Lock (Kimura), Top Wrist Lock (Americana) and the true Key Lock (a turning compression or squeeze lock). There's also many options off of a Short Arm Scissors which is another type of compression lock on the arm using your legs as an assist. Iatskevich also covers some leg rides such as the Single Leg Ride and Ball & Chain Ride, Catch Wrestling's method of fighting from your back and the approach to defending your neck and back when an opponent is trying to get both hooks in.

The second disc covers Sambo from American Sambo Association (ASA) president Stephen Koepfer who runs New York Combat Sambo and is a key member of the NY MMA Now Coalition, and producer of the documentary 'NY MMA'. Koepfer was taught the art of Combat Sambo by Grand Master Alexander Barakov while living in the United States who later returned to Russia and currently teaches Combat Sambo in St Petersburg. Koepfer was awarded the Master of Sports of Russia in Combat Sambo in 2009.

Koepfer's warm up consists of jogging to begin with, and then the important aspect of rolling as this is a key component in both attacks such as leglocks, and defense such as dissipating the energy of a throw. Everyone is wearing a Kurtka - a Sambo style of canvas jacket similar to a Jiu Jitsu Gi top but with slight design differences for the consideration of gripping for throwing. Koepfer goes over the principles of gripping for throwing and tripping including the over the back grip which I believe originates from Georgian Folk Wrestling. Fundamentals of sacrifice throws are also covered, which is a type of throw where you drop yourself to the mat so your bodyweight and momentum pulls the opponent over you. Also of note is the more iconic Sambo sweeps and throws such as the back Scissor Sweep, Victor Roll and how these can directly lead into leglock attacks such as kneebars, ankle locks and heel hooks and tips and tricks to finishing these holds efficiently. Koepfer concludes his portion of the seminar with attacking from various positions on the ground including attacking the Turtle in order to setup and snag a leglock.

The final disc is a great look at how Catch Wrestling and Sambo would approach the same situation in grappling or even MMA and sheds light on the similarities and differences between the two arts. For example Iatskevich might show one way to attack the guard or half-guard, and Koepfer would show a different approach or a variation, or how a Rear Naked Choke can be countered with and without a Gi jacket involved.

The whole set is shot well in Iatskevich's gym in Canada even considering the environment was for a training camp more than a studio production. At times you can hear the air conditioner but this is always switched off when either coach starts teaching meaning audio quality isn't compromised and it's easy enough to ignore when there's just footage of drilling.

For anyone with an interest in the grappling aspect of MMA or who takes part in grappling competitively but is only used to what Jiu Jitsu has to offer, this is an insightful look into a couple of grappling arts that often get overlooked, by two coaches striving to promote the arts they're passionate about. And for around $45 it's an absolute steal compared to a lot of other instructionals out there by more well known practitioners from BJJ, some of whom don't offer as much information or go as in depth as Iatskevich and Koepfer. Highly recommended.

After the jump, trailer video for the set, table of contents and links to the coaches' websites.

Thanks to Coach Kris Iatskevich for the complimentary DVD set.



D1
1-Catch Intro
...2-Hindu Squats
3-Hindu Pushups
4-Neck & Bridge Exercises
5-Sit Out Drills
6-From All 4-Details & Reversal
7-From All 4-Details & Reversal2
8-Counter attack to Reversal 2
9-From All 4-Reversal 3-Protecting Neck
10-From All 4 Turning into Double Wrist Lock & Keylock
11-Keylocks
12-Short Arm Scissors
13-Yvon Robert's Rolling Short Arm Scissor
14-Bait from Bottom to Arm Crush
15-Single Leg Ride-Turnover into Pin & Neck Crank
16-SLR-Turnover 2 into Pin & Subs
17-SLR-using Spiral Ride into Rear Naked Choke & back into SLR
18-SLR-Bob Langevin's Reversal in to Mount & Subs
19-SLR-Falling off into Subs
20-Calf Crusher-Break positions & Submit
21-Ball & Chain Ride-Principles-Toe Holds
22-Ball & Chain Ride-Subs when Toe Hold Countered
23-Toe Holds against All 4
24-SLR Defenses
25-SLR Defense & variant for 2 Hook Back Control
26-SLR & 2 Hooks Defense 2
27-Double Hooked-Protecting your Neck
28-Rear Naked Choke Escape 1
29-Rear Naked Choke Escape 2
30-Double Hook Defense 2
31-SLR Defense-Against Banana split Pin-Sub attempt
32-Escape & ToeHold under Sidemount

D2
1-Intro, sambo warm ups
2-Forward rolling, drills & principles
3-Reversal attack against a hip throw
4-Reversal attack against front trip
5-Defense foot sweeps, principle of move
6-Forward rolling: keep going, Keep fighting
7-Stopping the momentum of a throw to keep the top position
8-Foot sweep counter attacks
9-Choke/throw combinations
10-Over the back belt grip
11-Over the back belt grip to snap down
12-Experiment/improvise/be flexible/go with the flow
13-Sambo transitions/finishing
14-Over the back belt grip, foot sweep w/hard crash landing
15-Opposit lapel grip, sacrificial front trip
16-More grips + no-gi entries for above
17-Sacrificial back trip
18-2on1 grip to pancake and back trip
19-Details on control in fireman to ankle lock
20-Rolling kneebar (+ details on same into ankle lock and slicer)
21-From scissor - ankle lock (also as counter to single leg)
22-From scissor - side roll into ankle lace
23-Duck under into heel hook
24-From half-mount - rolling leg attacks
25-Half-mount-sit around into kneebar
26-Attacking turtle-rolling into crucifix control & choke
27-Suitcase choke against turtle
28-More attacking turtle

D3
1-Under Half Mount
2-Whizzer Defense
3-Under Half Mount
4-Opening Armbar Defense
5-Indian Death Lock from Half Mount
6-IDL from Head & Arm
7-Counterattack against Back Control
8-Head & Arm is Submission#1
9-Ribs Compression against Turtle
10-Half Nelson & Bottle Opener against Turtle
11-NY Combat Sambo's Basic 4 Leg Attack Positions
12-Knee Crush from inside Guard
13-Knee Crush from Standing inside Guard
14-Defending Single Leg Grab
15-Shin Locks
16-Jacket-NoJacket RNC Countering
17-Crooked Head Scissor-Neck Crank from Short Arm Scissor
18-Body Scissor
19-Avoiding the Guard
20-Getting away from Opponent in Guard
21-Countering the Guillotine
22-Palm Up Principle as Counter tool
23-More Guard Countering
24-Stand Up Grappling,2on1-Arm Drag-Etc
25-Grappling & Striking

American Sambo Association

www.ussambo.com

ISWA

www.catchwrestlingcanada.com

This DVD set is available for purchase at BudoVideos.com and the ISWA Website

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