28 Sept 2008

Anything goes

Anything goes - no, not the musical of the same name, I'm talking about 'vale tudo' which apparently translates as 'anything goes'. It is the style of MMA (mixed martial arts) fighting that was taught by the Danny Burzotta seminar I just attended. Danny used to train in our trad JJ system and won so many competitions in so many events they were thinking of just handing him the medal each time to save everyone the bother. Anyway, that was a few years ago and Danny has since carved an MMA career for himself, first as a fighter, now, mainly as a trainer and promoter.
Danny began the session with submissions and takedowns from the clinch. Immediately it was obvious to the group we were in for an interesting ride, as the seminar progressed we sampled techniques from Muay thai, submission grappling, BJJ and even a technique that reminded me of our JJ syllabus.
Let me say that Danny, is a huge man. Standing at 6'3'', weighing 105 Kg and wall to wall muscle, he also has amazing technique and agility.
I partnered Bartek, our club's Polish strongman, who in true Bartek fashion, threw in lots of cheeky moves and variations from the standard drills that goaded me into a full on sparring match with him each time. It was great fun, but we probably should have been a bit more respectful as it could look like we were mucking around.
There was lots of interesting techniques but I felt a little removed from the whole MMA concept as it is a bit far from where I personally want to go with my ju-jitsu, although I do of course enjoy watching MMA, it is not something I want to train in anymore. Having said this, the whole seminar was good. I learned several new things, including the 'anaconda choke' which I have never done before. This was wicked and me and Bartek rolled around thrilled to be able to hurt each other in such a technical and flashy way!
Finally, at the end, we were matched up by Danny for some groundfighting. My first bout was with Bartek but we both agreed we were just gonna go light. Then I was matched with a young lad who I did not know before. He was pretty aggressive but in the end I subbed him 5 times in a row including my newly acquired anaconda choke. But then I got complacent and got caught in a silly ankle lock (duh!). I must say, this bit of sparring at the end really got my competitive spirit going and acted as a lovely taster for the big Jikishin tournament ahead.
If I had to voice once criticism, I would say that, whilst hosting MMA seminar is a nice introduction to the art, I think most members of my JJ association require seminars that are more relevent to our style of sport groundfighting (which is more judo and BJJ based than MMA). Unless that is, our style is going to change to MMA, in which case I will definitely be up for it - anacondas, boa contrictors, pythons and all.

About the Author


Author & Artist

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



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