Matwork! IBJJF Pro League, Mendes Brothers Videos, Dog Lifts Cat Home

Anton Tabuena

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. The IBJJF Pro League debuts today, lots of Mendes Brothers videos and Deo Wade gives us a return to the animal video awesomeness.


The IBJJF's Pro League debuts today. It is an invitational tournament that uses rankings compiled throughout the year in Brazilian jiu jitsu/submission grappling tournaments held by the IBJJF. Several noteworthy stars are participating in this year's edition and there is a cash prize. Unfortunately, the event goes on at the same time as UFC on Fox 5, but for the dedicated fans, the tournament will be streamed for free on by the BudoVideos crew starting around 6 PM ET.

The official list of competitors:

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.

Wrestling News:

I cannot sum up the wrestling action better than Michael Riordan can. I'm not sure anybody can or will. His short article over at Intermat sums up the action between November 26th and December 2nd. Most of the usual favorites and highly ranked people are winning in dominant fashion - Dake, Logan Stieber and so on. The service academies appear to be putting together very solid teams with wrestlers who can win even on the elite level.

The Hunter Stieber vs. Michael Mangrum match was pretty solid.
Kyle Dake is on another level though. He's so technically solid and such a good tactician that nobody's really threatening him much and his offense comes in such decisive bursts that it's awe-inspiring to watch.
Judo News:

The Judo Grand Slam in Tokyo has come and gone. Ilias Iliadis won another medal to add to an already legendary career and several other stars did well also. There are some new people coming up and the Judo Inside creator (Hans van Essen) made an entire blog specifically for this event. Here's his summary of the action:

The Qindao results are up on the IJF website: Day 1 and Day 2

Submission Grappling/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu News:

The Mendes Brothers (Rafael and Guilherme) have their own online video program up now. It's normally behind a paywall, but much like Marcelo Garcia's MGOnline, they release certain videos for free. Rafael has put up a bunch lately - including one on the berimbolo. The details of the "invert, pull and magically get the back or a leg drag pass set-up" move are a bit different from what I've learned or seen others do (there are several dozen variants), but it's Rafa teaching it, so it's a must-watch.

What's awesome about the Mendes brothers (beyond them putting a ton of rolls with up and coming youngsters up on their YouTube channel) is that the other brother, Gui, showed in another video how to set up the berimbolo from being stuck in the x-guard. He's teaching kids, but we can all learn from this.

Mackenzie Dern, the 19 year old brown belt phenom, has been promoted to black belt by her father, Wellington "Megaton" Dias. Her step-mother Luca and her longtime boyfriend are also black belts and extremely involved in the grappling community. The news broke when Augusto "Tanquinho" Mendes, her boyfriend, posted an Instagram photo of the promotion. All the best to her and her family in the future.


An interesting write-up of how the Polish submission grapplers (judoka, sambo players, wrestlers etc.) have embraced Brazilian jiu jitsu and hybridized it into their own repertoires. A few of the people mentioned are the people who work with Marcin Held, the Bellator fighter, and more MMA fighters are starting to come out of that region.

The same blog has a good write-up of the FILA Grappling championships. Poland won the overall team title with a very good performance from many athletes. However, the event - despite its wonderful drug testing policies, relatively good organization and popularity with the European contingent - did not see the very best in the BJJ world attend.

Ruben over at BJJ Grappling has a nice write-up of a Leandro Lo seminar. I'd heard about Lo and Luiza Monteiro going around together - as Lo speaks very little English - and wondered how the seminars are. Looks like Ruben says they're really good.

Su Ling Chan over at Cupcake Armbar has an excellent photoessay about her trip from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Melbourne, Australia to compete in the Pan Pacifics (she got two silver medals in the blue belt division). Lots of photos and a discussion of Melbourne's food options as well.

Chelsea Leah from one of my favorite BJJ blogs ( has a super-sweet post about taping up a tweaked or sprained ankle for grappling (or any athletics). I'd found taping to be a "learn as you go" thing, so seeing a more experienced person lay out exactly how to get pesky leg taping done is almost stupidly useful.

Odds and Ends:

BLDBLG has two photoessays on a trip to the Merangarh Fort and to the hydro-monuments (stepwells) of Rajasthan. These complex old buildings show just how intricate architecture and life was in India a couple centuries ago and how strange they seem now.

Japanese researcher Shin Kubota is the only person on the planet working on a jellyfish that is apparently immortal. The NY Times wrote a big, long and awesome article on how cool this jellyfish is and what it could mean to us regular people.

The National Geographic Photo Contest is in full swing. Check this out for your wallpaper supply for the next six months.

If you are in New York and want to donate blood, the NY Combat Sambo Club has put together a very nice package of directions, free books and community participation for you. Check them out on Facebook and help keep the blood and platelet banks in use.

And from the consummate gentleman, Damon O., a dog lifts cat home video:

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!

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