YORK, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: USA Olympic gold medallist wrestler Henry Cejudo wrestles a viking outside York Minister on September 10, 2011 in York, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Here at Bloody Elbow, you can find general updates on a wide variety of combat sports scattered in between the mixed martial arts coverage that is our bread and butter. This weekly column, Matwork!, is designed to bring you the recent happenings in the world of grappling, be it sambo, judo, Brazilian jiu jitsu, submission grappling and/or collegiate and freestyle wrestling.
If it takes place on the ground and it's interesting, I am going to write about it here. As this is the first issue, there will be some slightly older news - still relevant - mixed in with the fresh happenings. Join us after the jump for the short summaries and the links to articles, videos and grappling goodness.
And yes, even Vikings can be defeated if you have good ground game like Henry Cejudo.
Paul "Sassangle" Sass just released a video showing his version of the Showtime Kick - except it's a triangle...
In collegiate wrestling, the National Wrestling Coaches Association All Star Classic was held on November 21st. InterMat has a great recap over on their site. They also have the story of Minnesota pulling the slight upset over Penn State in a dual meet.
Back in October, the Pan American Judo Games were held. The Cubans and Brazilians essentially stomped everybody else, as the results show. The United States should have kidnapped Ronda Rousey and made her compete in every match possible.
One of my favorite sports news sites, the always funny/awesome DSTRYRSG does a great job giving a bit of attention to the sambo world championships, which were held in mid-November in Vilnius, Lithuania. The full results can be found on the Federation International Amateur Sambo site (click around a bit).
In Brazilian jiu-jitsu news, the Abu Dhabi World Pro trials in Manaus were recently contested and the divisional champions were rewarded for their efforts with a ticket to Abu Dhabi. A recap from Carlos Ozorio over at Gracie Mag gets most of the storylines across to English readers.
Going back in time a bit to cover the recent big happenings now.
The No-Gi Worlds were held on November 5th at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California. The link to the official IBJJF results is not working, but the black belt results were written up by Gracie Mag. Quite a few big names participated and some fine matches between truly elite grapplers were held. Deb Blythe over at Gracie Mag also did a nice, if uncritical tournament summary with some good pictures.
Notable results: The lightweight finals between Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles and Justin Rader, which featured non-stop action from both, can be seen on YouTube thanks to Jiu-jitsu Factory. Rafael Lovato Jr. (whom I interviewed a while back) defeated Pablo Popovitch 4-0 in the medium-heavyweight finals. Marcus "Bochecha" Vinicus won both the superheavyweight and the absolute, while Michelle Nicolini won the women's featherweight and absolute divisions.
The CBJJ Brazilian no-gi nationals were held on October 29th. The full results can be viewed here. Among the storylines there were the ascension into the limelight on the black belt level for two brothers - Herbert Burns and Kim Terra.
Herbert, who is the younger brother of Gilbert Burns (now training with Vitor Belfort in preparation for an MMA career) won the featherweight black belt division and now teaches out in Singapore. Kim, brother of Caio Terra (a dominant figure in the smallest divisions of Brazilian jiu-jitsu for a few years now), won third in lightweight and third again in the absolute. Also, Beatriz Mesquita has been tearing it up on the grappling circuits all year and won double gold here (and silver at the no-gi worlds in the absolute). Leandro Lo Pereira do Nascimento has been rolling extremely well all year long and collected a divisional gold before losing to Bochecha in the absolute semi-finals (thanks to X-Combat for the video).
Submission Control has one of my favorite interviews of any grappling competitors in their Q&A session with Jordon Wallace Schultz. This brown belt world champion has strong opinions and isn't afraid to tell 'em. A short excerpt from the great interview is below as a teaser:
SubCon: What has been your proudest moment in Jiu Jitsu thus far?
JS: Everything I have accomplished has been in the minor leagues, the high-school of BJJ. So nothing. Ask me again when I'm a year into my black belt. When I get to formula one. That's where everything counts. If I think for a second that I've accomplished anything then I'm lying to myself. I talk about how I'm a World Champion on my website to market myself. You have to shamelessly promote yourself or no one will know about you.
SubCon: Asides from BJ Penn, Robert Drysdale, Rafael Lavato, and Hillary Williams, why do you think there are so few American mundial champions at the BB level, while there are so many in the other levels?
JS: It is just a matter of time. My coach Jacare says soon BJJ will be dominated by Americans. Brazilians have just been doing it longer. America has the best athletes. We win most of the gold medals in the Olympics.
If you train Brazilian jiu-jitsu, help out Aesopian with his gi survey. Here's the mission and the general idea of it:
We want to know which BJJ gis are the best and worst around, and your opinions matter. This survey is split into four parts:
Your BJJ History
Review Your Gis (up to 10)
Completion Time: 5-10 minutes (depending on how many gis you review)
Your answers will be kept anonymous. Once enough responses are collected, the results will be published on aesopian.com.
And as a great way to end this first issue, I leave you with Two Kittens Wrestling.
The black kitten's sweeps-based guard game eventually flummoxes the aggressive top control of the calico and my head just esploded with that cuteness. (Thanks to Tim Burke for finding the video.)
If you have any links, questions or comments, leave them below or get at me on Twitter.