Recent happenings in the worlds of sambo, judo, Brazilian jiu jitsu, submission grappling and/or collegiate/freestyle wrestling. If it takes place on the ground and it's interesting, it should be here.
We have a brand new Rolled Up episode, courtesy of Budo Jake of BudoVideos.com, and it is a fantastic two-parter with Marcelo Garcia of New Yawhk Ceety, New Yawhk.
Marcelo Garcia is really, really good at submission grappling. He spots hundreds of videos of his strategy, his sparring and his thought streams to anyone who can afford a nominal monthly fee - and he still beats them. That's the scariest thing about Marcelo and it's counterbalanced by him being a superb human being. Never heard a bad word about Marcelo and I probably never will. Bless you, Budo Jake, for bringing us more of this lethal cherub's life to our attention.
If you have any links of your own, questions or comments, leave them below or get word to me at DefGrappler on Twitter. Please let me know if I missed anything major and I will fix this, that and the other thing.
David Taylor and Kyle Dake will wrestle in one week at the NWCA event hosted by American University in the northwest corner of the DC metro area. To explain the significance of this match, I must use a terrible metaphor: this match is as if BJ Penn had been marching through the bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight classes collecting belts en route to a showdown with welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100 - without the titles being on the line. In this metaphor, the hypothetical Penn (Dake) would have beaten the hypothetical GSP (Taylor) by KO in a PRIDE Grand Prix alternate match. Tortured metaphor aside, Dake vs. Taylor is huge and both guys are considered to be among the very best college wrestlers ever. This may end up being fire on the mats by sheer pressure of expectations on both young men.
Dake could make history this year by winning a fourth NCAA title - with all four being in different weight classes. Taylor was upset two years ago by Bubba Jenkins in the finals of the NCAAs and came back last year to go undefeated in incredibly dominant fashion en route to his single title. In the Olympic freestyle wrestling qualification trials, both guys were soundly beaten by more experienced freestyle wrestlers and then matched up in the wrestleback brackets. There, Dake was having some trouble dealing with Taylor's aggressiveness - but then capitalized perfectly on a slight mistake to get a fall on Taylor in the second period.
Jeff Blatnick, Olympic Greco-Roman gold medalist and an incredibly important figure in the development of modern mixed martial arts, died earlier this week. I knew of his considerable accomplishments, stellar record as an MMA judge and his enduring reputation as a man who loved combat sports to the fullest. However, he lived a half hour away from me and I never knew until it was too late.
I missed a chance to know a titan of combat sports, but fortunately people like Nick Lembo, New Jersey Deputy Attorney General and de facto MMA commissioner for New Jersey, and Dave Meltzer, writer at MMA Fighting, knew Blatnick and told their audiences who this man was. His passing is a blow to his family, friends and to combat sports everywhere. He will be remembered well.
Meltzer's column on MMA Fighting does a great job explaining who Blatnick was:
Lembo wrote his own short tribute to Blatnick, but what is more telling is that he worked with Jeff extensively to train new judges, to develop rules and to further the protection and empowerment of combat sports athletes everywhere.
The college wrestling scene is about to tip off in full and we await the controlled madness and Coach Riordan's return with delight and relish.
Maybe hotdogs too, as they go well with the relish.
Submission Grappling/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu News:
Gianni Grippo showed for probably the eighth time his cool variation of a bow and arrow choke, but this time he got an armbar threat inside the choke too. Guy's pretty good at grappling.
The IBJJF No Gi Worlds are next weekend in Long Beach, California. They will be streamed on BudoVideos.com and at least discussed here on Bloody Elbow.
Meerkatsu (Seymour Yang) was the official photographer for the IBJJF European No Gi championships and he put together a pretty solid gallery and "thoughts on the event" post.
Newly minted black belt and PFP best BJJ blogger, Christian Graugart, wrote up (with video!) his experience winning his division at the London Open last week. His return from a back injury has been inspiring, humorous and always entertaining.
Odds and Ends:
The Wachowskis (directors of The Matrix and a few other movies) have given an incredibly rare and candid interview with the AV Club in promotion of their Cloud Atlas movie. It's wonderfully sprawling and shows an insight into what they are after with their movies.
James Thompson, better known as "Colossus", has another spectacular blog post up about fighting Giant Silva in Japan. He might be building an unexpected career as one of the best storytellers in MMA right now.
The NY Times is at least temporarily banned from China for David Barboza's piece on how the family of China's leader has gotten stinking rich all of a sudden.
If you want to watch DEEP 59, JapaneseMMALives has you covered. Check out the Doo Ho Choi vs. Kosuke Umeda match to see a young prospect at work.
The National Geographic 2012 Photo contest is in full roar right now. This is THE place to look for new wallpapers and be awestruck with the majesty and splendor of our planet.
And I end this with a video you would be best off watching with the sound on.
People, I always need more awesome Odds & Ends. Videos, gifs, links, whatever. Do not hesitate to send them my way in the comments or on Twitter.
Def Grappler out!