12 Mar 2007

No Pressure

A very contrasting martial arts weekend for Meerkat as I attended a Pressure and Nerve points seminar on the Sunday afternoon, then whizzed over to the Hackney Empire afterwards to watch the 10K submission grappling tournament.

The P&N points seminar was ok. I am not a 100percent believer of this kind of stuff. If you hit a bony part of your body real hard, of course it hurts. Plus all the talk of meridian lines and energy flow is against my scientific education. I think the sensei in charge was also aware of not going too OTT with the talk of energy flows and was keen to emphasise more on the applications and context. For example, a strike to a nerve point on the top of the forearm elicits a buckling of the knees. If you try this in isolation, it may work, it more than probably doesn’t. But add it to a syllabus technique such as defence to a strangle, and suddenly, it makes better sense. There were more syllabus examples with added emphasis on N&P points, which I quite liked. Rapping the top of your uke’s hands with your knuckles, a wince-inducing favourite. Overall, an interesting diversion from syllabus ju-jitsu and worth knowing about, but it didn’t convert me into a full believer of energy flows and meridian lines.

On the other side of the MA planet, the Hackney Empire was an inspired choice of venue for the big 10K Grappling Challenge. 32 elite fighters pitted against each other, only one winner. From where I sat, I had a great view of the event and the big screen showed close-ups and repeats in case you missed something. To my left sat a vocal Mike Bispring (UFC), to my right, sat World BJJ Champion Roger Gracie, yes, the audience was certainly a who’s who of the MMA and BJJ fight world.
The competitors came from all over the world – a sprinkling of UK competitors, the USA had a few, South Africa showed up in good numbers as of course, did the Brazilians. Interestingly, most of the Brazilian v Brazilian contests were kinda chess-like stalemates. They obviously knew all the tricks and were both waiting for mistakes that never happened. But there was quite a few great technical fights, one amazingly flash bout and some, not so good draws. The best two fighters IMHO were 6 times Pan American BJJ legend Braulio Estima and No1 ranked American, Rafael Lovato Jnr. They wowed the audience with their superb display of grappling skills. And then there was Jeff Monson. A leviathon of a man who ploughed his way through each contestant like a bulldozer on high octane fuel. The size of his huge arms are an enduring image that stay burned on my retinas. Of course it was fated that Braulio and Monson should meet in the final. Monson executed a single, superbly timed takedown. Braulio, the magician that he is, could not do anything once the 'Snowman' got his claws in. Time up and Braulio was visibly upset at the defeat. Monson huffed and puffed, arm raised, but was humble in victory.
The first 10K Grappling tournament was a great night and an inspiration to all us students and fans of the fight game.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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