Matwork! NCAA Division I Wrestling Fallout, Did Beneil Dariush Beat Kron Gracie And Gibbon Ninjas


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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.

Tom Ryan, Ohio State wrestling coach, is a really, really intense TV watcher.

Grab more excellent videoes of NCAA Wrestling Championships 2012 on flowrestling.org

The biggest grappling news in the past couple weeks have been the NCAA wrestling championships, which were excellent, and the Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials. March is typically the resting time for international competitors in both wrestling and judo, as the national qualifications for the July Olympics are about to begin in April and May. Thus, I claw back through the judo events of February for the best throws and matches, trawled through tons of excellent Brazilian jiu jitsu content to bring you the best articles, videos and news and found gibbon ninjas to round out a solid Odds & Ends section. Join me after the jump for all that and more.

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.

A list of official crew Twitter accounts is right here for your pickings: BloodyElbow Twitter, Luke Thomas,Kid Nate, Brent Brookhouse, Richard Wade, Chris Barton, Damon O, Scott Broussard, Tim Burke, Matt Bishop, Fraser Coffeen, Dallas Winston, KJ Gould, Anton Tabuena, T.P. Grant.

Wrestling News:

The North American scene essentially ground to a standstill as the NCAA Division I wrestling championships took place from Thursday to Saturday. K.J. Gould had some of the finest coverage I have ever seen of this sport right here on Bloody Elbow. The following is basically all K.J. and all glorious:

NCAA Division I Wrestling Results: NCAA Division I Wrestling Finals Results and Recap | Penn State Officially Win Team Title For Second Year Running | NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Semi-Finals Results | NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship Quarter Final Results | NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship Session 2 Results | NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship Session 1 Results

Sure, other sites like FloWrestling, Intermat and Onthematmay have the fancy videos and audio podcasts, but this is pure, raw fan devotion from an unexpected source: a British catch wrestler who primarily follows MMA. Imagine him speaking all of this aloud in a Liverpudlian accent, while sipping on tea and munching on crumpets, while he competes with Ian McCall for "Best Mustache and Derby Wearer".

In the long run, the favorites mostly won at the NCAAs. They were who we thought they were. David Taylor might be the single best wrestler in college. Pinning four competitors and tech-falling the last en route to a title is dominance that is found only in the history of the greats in American wrestling. Taylor's team, Penn State, is composed of the best recruits and coached by the legendary Cael Sanderson, which is awesome, but somewhat bittersweet to Iowa fans since a good chunk of those recruits were once headed Iowa's way before Sanderson's move to Penn State. Cornell has cemented itself among the top ranks of the NCAA and Kyle Dake might be the best threat to win four national titles out there (with at least three being in different weight classes). The long and short of it is that college wrestling is as strong as ever and the Olympic coaches have to be feeling fairly good about the long term prospects of the next generation, despite MMA's inroads into the sport.

That being said, we MMA fans get Chris Honeycutt, 2012 runner-up to Cornell's Cam Simaz at 197 lbs. We might also get a few of the lighter weight guys, if Team Alpha Male continues keeping their wrestling connections strong.

International wrestling took a knee for a bit too - not for the piddling NCAAs though. The freestyle and Greco-Roman grapplers are in the final stages of the Olympic Trials qualification process. The United States will have its own Trials in April and as things currently stand, the U.S. can send wrestlers in only five of seven weight divisions. Two of the best American wrestlers, Shawn Bunch and Brent Metcalf, are entering the FILA Pan Ams to try and qualify the U.S. in the remaining two divisions (60 kg/132 lbs and 66 kg/145.5 lbs). They have to make the finals or the trip down there is kind of a valiant waste. The Cubans are going to be gunning for nearly every division too, as they actually have only qualified in one of seven divisions thus far. This could turn nasty...

In other wrestling coverage, GreatGama over at MMATakedown dot net has undertaken a labor of love to break down the evolving takedowns of Georges St. Pierre. Right now, he is focusing on the single leg and may transition over to the double leg if given sufficient feedback and encouragement. I am overusing my favorite Herman Edwards quote, but we can build on this! Let him know that this is great stuff and he should keep going. Part 1 and Part 2 of the single leg GSP-style.

Keep an eye on Bloody Elbow for some interesting catch-wrestling stuff. I think we have some fun in the pipeline coming up there, thanks to KJ again.


Judo News:


Teddy Riner is a bad, bad man.

Look at how jacked up Hee-Tae Hwang's eye is in this semi-final match of the Paris Grand Slam, then marvel at his super-quick throw for the ippon on Zafar Makhmadov.



The continental championships will mostly be held in the last full week of April - with Australia being the outlier and doing theirs in early April - and judoka worldwide are resting up, sharpening their strategies and basically getting ready to dang near kill each other to get those qualification spots or invitations.

The European Judo Union has a really solid preview of each upcoming Olympic division. Since each country only gets to qualify one judoka per weight category, some of the top players in each category are going to have to battle it out to see who wins. In the women's -48 kg, Tomoko Fukumi and Haruna Asami are more than 800 points ahead of the third ranked player, but both are from Japan.

Pay particular attention to the currently extremely dominant champions, Yuka Nishida of Japan, the above mentioned Riner of France, Rishod Sobirov of Uzbekistan and Ki-Chung Wang of South Korea. Nishida is the best -52 kg woman judoka on the planet and up 800 some points on her nearest competition. Sobirov has nearly doubled up the points of the #2 ranked judoka in his weight category (a lead of 1000+ points over the last year and change). Ki-Chung has been on fire since August of 2011 - winning every tournament he's entered and some have been against extremely tough competition. An upset of any of these champions would be huge news and probably a terrific match.

Submission Grappling/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu News:

Having a problem dealing with that pesky berimbolo the purple and brown belts are pulling on you? Peep this Jiu Jitsu Labs musing on the counter-berimbolo. Those that really like the grappling Judo Chops here on Bloody Elbow will find a kindred spirit over there and even GIFs! For those that are serious about grappling, you should probably be learning this stuff in classes and private lessons, but this is extremely useful ruminant for your brain to chew on for a long while.

Su Ling might have the best jiu jitsu blog in the Eastern Hemisphere. Her recap of the Kuala Lumpur Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials is amazing - both for its intensely personal story and for the novelty of seeing someone so fresh to the sport do so well. Plus her header image is maybe the cutest thing in BJJ.

Jake over at Three Harmonies has his account of the competition experience at the Arnolds grappling tournament. That tournament got a bit lost in the shuffle with the Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials, Strikeforce and so on, but looks to be strong and continuing to bring the best out of competitors in the Mid-West.

At the San Diego Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials, one of the big stories was Ralph Gracie brown belt Beneil Dariush. This guy has been training BJJ for almost five years and basically almost beat Kron Gracie in a gi. For those not in the know, that kind of accomplishment means that he's pretty okay at this grappling thing. The match with the man who will probably forever be known as Rickson's son was somewhat controversial as the decisive points for Kron's victory came from a very unusual crucifix position/sweep/takedown mash-up. BudoVideos blessedly put it up on YouTube for us to enjoy and their streams are amazing, so this video is as fresh as grappling matches get:




Odds and Ends:

Paul Graham with a short article about how great public speakers might actually not be saying all that much. Pay attention closely to what is actually being said and whether it matters after you've thought about that stuff for a while.

The NY Times came through recently with a fairly good article about how airplane food is purposely different because altitude messes with our sensation of taste. However, the best piece anyone wrote for that place in recent memory is this one by Simon Romero about a Brazilian industrial magnate who is building a garden designed to last 1,000 years and stuffing it with crazy good art. I like my hubris spiced with a dose of not-quite-crazy and artistic awesomeness, so this is squarely in my wheelhouse.

Some of you may recall the Gibbon vs. Dog grappling match from the last edition. I now submit to you that gibbons are nature's ninjas and probably would out-parkour any other living being on this planet - while wearing a pillowcase.


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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