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 FILA Junior Worlds just happened and despite the dismal showing by the United States team in general, Pat Downey made a stellar run to the finals of his 84 kg (185 lbs) division. In the finals, he split the first two periods with Mohammadjavad Ebrahimi of Iran and then sort of fell apart in the third. The Iranian seemed better prepared to take advantage of the scrambles late. Thanks to USA Wrestling for putting up the videos of the Americans at the tourney.
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.
The U.S. college wrestling season has kicked off - and some coaches are already ticked off. A proposed change to the way team championships are decided was offered by the NCAA and immediately a significant population of coaches started agitating against it. The old system saw team championships decided by how many points the individual wrestlers scored in the NCAA individual championships and the new system would get rid of that. In its place would be a "dual meet" playoff bracket between 16 teams and it would take place over two consecutive weekends at some time shortly after the individual championships. Basically, it would look a lot like football playoffs, but with wrestling involved. Some people like this; some people don't. Cael Sanderson has been very publicly against it and his is the team that would probably win most dual meets anyways.
Now, if only they would do something about the extremely strange trend of people dropping the sport once they are out of high school or college... Anyways, here are the Intermat pre-season rankings for each division: http://www.intermatwrestle.com/rankings/college
The FILA Junior Worlds took place in Pattaya, Thailand from September 4 to September 9 and the U.S. did terribly (fourteenth place of twenty-four). The Mat.com has the results here. As expected, the Russians, Azerbaijanis, Iranians, Armenians and Georgians did very well. In a tidbit that may only interest me, the Indian team came in at tenth place with good performances in the lighter weight, as Pardeep Pardeep got a bronze medal, Barjang Barjang collected a 7th place, Deepak Deepak swiping a 9th place and Baliram Yadav, perhaps one of the few non-double named Indian competitors, placed 5th. This event is not a "must-watch", especially after having had the Olympics recently, but quite a few high achievers here at the Junior Worlds go on to considerable success on the Senior level within a couple years.
The Olympics are over and done. However, the 2012 Paralympics were just held in London. The only martial art during those games is judo and after making some mental shifts, watching the disabled athletes battle is phenomenal - especially the blind athletes. The full Paralympics judo playlist is here, but first watch this bronze medal match between Hidekatsu Takahashi and Shakhban Kurbanov.
In other judo news, a World Cup event was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Since it is so soon after the Olympics, most elite judoka skipped this event. However, the Mongolians still had some struggles on their way to dominating the event. Judo Inside has the full results, but it's better to look at the videos anyways. On YouTube, a helpful judo nut has compiled the Day 1 highlights and uploaded quite a few finals matches (Link 1, Link 2).
Submission Grappling/Sambo News:
Stephen Koepfer, or Sambo Steve, as most people know him, runs a terrific grappling gym in New York City. Steve has long been one of the most open, knowledge-sharing and all-inclusive people in the sport and his love for the combat sports is awe-inspiring. His NY Combat Sambo place was featured in BudoJake's most recent Rolled Up episode and it is a good one.
If you are in the Chicago area on October 19th and are interested in sambo, the 6th Annual Sambo Summit and Training Camp will be going down in Elk Grove Village, IL. The Facebook page is the best way to keep track of things for that and Sambo Steve will be only one of many who will help improve your grappling and coaching game.
The biggest story in BJJ right now is the upcoming Metamoris Pro and rightly so. The organizers have put together a set of matches between BJJ stars such that it basically is jiu jitsu's UFC 100. The line-up for the San Diego event on October 14th is as follows:
This is an enormous collection of talent for a tournament that is not a world championship tournament or an Abu Dhabi event. Almost every single person here has made a very real run at a world title or already has several and the match between Jean Jacques Machado and Nelson Monteiro is a clash of older generation legends. A livestream is planned for those who are not in attendance. I plan on doing a preview for the card a few days before to explain who is who and why this won't turn out like the Braulio Estima and Nick Diaz match.
On the same day in the same city (at a different venue) is the ADCC North American championships. A diligent reporter like Deb Blyth probably could make both events in the same day, but it's a crazy day for submission grappling.
The U.S. Nationals took place last weekend in Carson, California and quite a few medium-ish stars turned up for this. The No-Gi results can be seen here (Link) and the Gi results are here (Link). Caio Terra, the roosterweight, won the open class in no-gi and came in second in the gi open weight too. In the women's side, there was no black belt division in the gi, but the brown belts did battle and the future looks very bright for the women's black belt scene in the next couple years.
In more informal news, a man named Ciccarino Mingo recently got his black belt in July and signed up for his first tournament. The first match comes around and he steps up on the mats - only to see Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu, a multiple time world champion, standing across from him. This is the match that resulted:
It amazes me that even within the black belt ranks there is such great disparity. However, credit has to be given to Mingo for not caving and giving up in the face of that skill gap. Too bad Cyborg isn't part of the Metamoris.
Odds and Ends:
?uestlove, the Roots drummer, has the best stories in music. His account of the time he, Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan spent with Prince is pretty good - and gets better when it is animated. ?uesto's best story always will be the Eddie Murphy/Prince one, but this is a good consolation prize.
Cosmo the God, the teenage "hacker" who helped take down UFC.com by getting Dana White's personal information, opened up to a WIRED writer while awaiting trial and sentence. The resulting profile is astoundingly scary in how easy these crooks get in though the digital safeguards and how alien their perspective on life seems to be at times.
Deo Wade always has his eye out for good animal grappling videos. He hit me with two over the past couple weeks and they're terrific.
First, a little lightness as two dogs show us the value of a good reverse mount.
And a weasel shows us how deadly back control can be on a rat. I nominate weasels as nature's second best natural grapplers - behind only gibbons. The hooks are actually hooked in with claws and the weasel anticipates the rat's movements very well.
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.