SAMBO and MMA Tie The Knot: A Marrige Of Skill

My first encounter with leg locks was with my Cousin Kelly. He had seen a technique sample clip from one of the original UFC productions where Ken Shamrock taught how to hit a toe hold and heel lock off of a broken guard. We drilled and worked leg lock quick draws for hours.

Later I would see more locks, different variations, set ups, entries and chain techniques while working with Coach Brandon Kiser. This I would supplement by soaking up everything I could from material released by Sensei Erik Paulson via his seminars, DVD’s and online instruction.

Over the years, what I’ve come to realize is that the more skilled, the larger, and the stronger my partners and opponents, the more the course of a roll or fight would bring me towards a leg lock.

It would be the only opening or set of joints that I could manage to isolate and control with relative safety against my stronger, highly skilled counter parts.

Needless to say, I fell in love with Leg Locks and have become an avid student of their many uses and subtle intricacies.

Inevitably, any thorough study of Leg Locks will eventually find it’s way to Russia’s Sambo. As far as Leg Locks go, few individuals can say they specialize on a subject as in depth as Sambo Practitioners.

It would be an understatement to say that Sambo has a complex history. But what would you expect from an art that has grown from such a large country with so much cultural diversity. Sambo is a relatively modern art, it’s formative years comprised of the first part of the 20th century. However, you could say that the seeds that would finally germinate and begin to bear fruit as a nationally recognized sport, had been present since the birth of Mother Russia herself.

In those early times pre-dating it’s forefathers, Sambo finds it’s ancestry in the form of numerous tribal, folk and indigenous wrestling styles ranging from Mongolian Wrestling to Tartar Koras and seemingly everything between, on the boarders, and from the center of Eastern Europe.

The formation of a comprehensive empty handed combatives curriculum for the Red Army would be the impetus for what could be considered the conception of early Sambo. Two men (who’s names I have seen numerous spellings for) are consistently credited with the early development of the Russian art, Vasili Oschepkov and Victor Spiridonov. Each had a different area of expertise and each had their own ideas about how Sambo should be developed and propagated (either as a system for military combat or as a national sport).

According to sources on Wikipedia

Oschepkov (a second degree black belt in Judo) would eventually be executed under orders of Stalin for his refusal to deny education and ties with Judo’s founder Jigaro Kano.

Despite the effort to expunge the influence of souces outside of mainland Russia, the similarities between many of the throwing techniques of Sambo and Judo are too compelling to ignore.

It’s important to look at the translation of SAMBO to really understand what’s under the hood of this high octane martial art.

“SAMBO” is actually an acronym for a series of Russian words that can be intrepreted as “Self Defense Without A Weapon”.

As such it’s open ended and pragmatic scope does much to explain the art’s ecclectic appoach and the numerous variations that have arisen over time. During correspondance with Reilly Bodycomb, he has mentioned that

“Sambo is not taught as a collection of techniques but rather as a series of principles which will allow a faster development of combat skills.”

I can relate to this on a personal level as I gave a name to my own gym “Mushin Self Defense” with the same intentions. I didn’t want to limit an individual or myself to any one method. I wanted to empower my students with and “ends justify the means” mentality and in so doing, lay a foundation from which the most efficient technique for the individual could be employed to that end.

SAMBO’s principle of “use what works”, works well for those of us who enjoy the freedom to experiment and modify systems and tools to suit our own needs.

Another interesting fact concerning SAMBO is that unlike it’s contemporaries,

it does not have a formal structure or ranking system.

This has, in my opinion, enabled it to spread rapidly. Less encumbered by oranizational politics, it has been able to gain a foothold in countries around the world in a very short period of time (within 2 to 3 generations of its original inception as a national sport at the hands of Anatoly Kharlampiev in 1938).

To bring this breif history full circle and back to the original discusssion, the bottom line is winning. Surviving an un armed altercation and giving an individual the best chances for victory. And there is no better way to do this than Sambo’s library of Leg Locking techniques.

Time and again, leg attacks have bailed me out of otherwise unsalvageable situations.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Reilly Bodycomb for contributing his time and expertise so that I and the followers of DamageControlMMA.com can continue to expand our understanding of these wonderful equalizers of the MMA world.

If you enjoyed this series of instructional videos, you might also enjoy Reilly’s DVD’s which are available for purchase. Not only is the content unique and well presented, but the price is unbeatable.

Sambo Leglocks for Nogi Grappling 2 DVD Set by Reilly Bodycomb
Sambo Leglocks for Nogi Grappling 2 DVD Set by Reilly Bodycomb
CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Sambo Leg Locks for No-Gi Grappling DVD Vol 1 with Reilly Bodycomb
Sambo Leg Locks for No-Gi Grappling DVD Vol 1 with Reilly Bodycomb
CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Sambo Leg Locks for No-Gi Grappling DVD Vol 2 with Reilly Bodycomb
Sambo Leg Locks for No-Gi Grappling DVD Vol 2 with Reilly Bodycomb
CLICK HERE TO ORDER

$29.95 USD$19.95 USD$10.00 USD

Reilly Bodycomb: Sambo Grappler

A special thanks to www.lockflow.com who agreed to share Reilly with us here at DamageControlMMA.

Shooto Lockflow Series

CSW has many influences, perhaps one of the main influences was originally Shooto

CSW has many influences, perhaps one of the main influences was originally Shooto

O.k. Superfans, this week I stumbled upon a series of videos that is absolutely awesome. Especially for those of you who enjoy the culture of technique and Martial Art as much as you do watching the latest moves on the mat. This is a timeless classic that holds an important place in the history of MMA, especially for me personally and any of us that have been influenced by Sensei Erik Paulson and CSW.

Below is a series of lock flows from the Original Shooto Lockflow series. I have never seen these all compiled online like this before and so I thought I’d share.

For those of you who have been studying with Coach Kiser over the last few weeks, this is what he has been teaching you. If you’ve ever wanted to see the whole lockflow documented so that you’d have an easier time remembering everything, here you go.

Rolling Elbow Compression Lock

Here is a gem from Khuen Khru – Coach Alvin Chan of Maryland CSW. I really like this lock and have been playing around trying to hit it from other situations such as off a 1/4 nelson (a.k.a. “Kaputa Kapaula”) vs an opponent who has an underhook and is trying to come up from bottom half guard… if that makes any sense at all.

Either way it’s a nice little trick to have up your sleeves… ahem, rash guards.

Zombieland Rules For MMA Students To Live By

bug-out-bag

If you know me at all, you know that I’m into survival craft… Survivorman style. And

nowhere are survival skills more important than in a post apocalyptic state, over run with Zombies.

While killing a perfectly good Saturday afternoon reading an article about putting together one’s own survival kit, it hit me.

There is a wealth of Zombie related information that I could share with my MMA brothers and sisters to help improve their MMA Games.

Thus, I decided to relate the Zombieland List of Rules to the many hazards that plague the average MMA practitioner and here we are.

Upon doing further research for this article, I found some peculiar facts concerning the “official” Zombieland Rules to Live By. Many of the rules have not yet been made public and some of those that have, appear in or out of order depending upon whether they were mentioned in the actual theatrical release or in official promotional material.

Take for instance rule numbers listed on the official Zombieland website and those featured on this international trailer. I’ve seen so many different lists and rule numbering systems that I’ve about given up. I would go with the rules listed in the US movie release but I don’t remember them exactly and I’m too damn cheap to go watch the movie again.

These discrepancies make for interesting conversation, and have occupied the better part of my days for the last few weeks. But I won’t bore you any longer with my movie trivia nerdomania.

Below are Damage Control MMA’s Zombie Land Rules for MMA Fighters to Live By… And I’m basing my numbering system, LOOSELY, on the list I found on Wikipedia.

You got a problem with that, you can go write up your own Zombie List of Rules to Live by.

Wikipedia’s version of the list:

01. Cardio

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMLcy5qh0Cs

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmLaDn7Obl4

Zombie Land Rule 1 for MMA is Cardio[14]. Once your Cardio goes, one of the first things to happen is your hands drop by your side. Another tell tale sign of spent Cardio is a mouthpiece that’s hanging half way out of your mouth. When this happens… well, you just saw what usually follows.

02.Beware of Bathrooms

Zombie Land Rule 2 for MMA is Beware of bathrooms[14][15]. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve seen and er smelt things much scarier than Zombies comin out of the public bathroom.

03. Wear seatbelts[14]

04. Double tap

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8Gi0xJlZ98

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PapZO7NXB3Q

Zombie Land Rule 4 for MMA is the Double tap[14]. If you think your partner has had enough and taps out. Making him tap one more time, makes you both 100% sure.

Yeah, you dont want that attached to you.

Yeah, you don't want that "attached" to you.

05. No Attachments (I added this based on my research.  For us MMA, Muay Thai and Submission Grappling Practitioners, this usually means, no ringworm, no scabies, MRSA, Mat Herpes… you get the gist.)

06. Cast iron skillet[9]

07. Travel light

08. Get A Kick Ass Partner (I added this based on the movie poster found here)

You couldn't ask for a better partner than Kiser.

You couldn't ask for a better partner than Kiser.

12. Paper Towels

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YZaeCe4oOc

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohvY7d4RrxY

Zombie Land Rule 12 for MMA is Bounty paper towels[9]. If there is one way to describe a MMA gym, it’s “moist”.

Gomi twists his opponent into a ball of contorted limbs.

Gomi twists his opponent into a ball of contorted limbs.

15. Bowling ball[9]

17. (Don’t) Be a hero[16]

18. Limber up

22. When in doubt, know your way out (see the Damage Control MMA video for rule 2.)

29. The buddy system[9]

31. Check the back seat[17]

32. Enjoy the little things[18]

Mmmmm milkshakes...  Little things indeed.

Mmmmm milkshakes... Little things indeed.

33. Swiss Army knife[9]

Now I know I didn’t complete the list in terms of relating the various rules to the worlds of MMA, Thai Boxing and Submission Wrestling.  But that’s where you come in.

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to fit some of these rules into our scheme of things.  But I am sure that our viewers, in all their infinite wisdom will succeed where I have failed.  I welcome your rules, and look forward to reading them in the comments below.

In the mean time.  Prepare yourselves, zombies are coming, they don’t take any prisoners and Big Brother Won’t Save You!

Learn to Fight MMA: Off The Cage

When was the last time you worked cage tactics?  When was the last time you incorporated the cage wall into your takedown to nullify your opponent’s ability to sprawl and protect his hips?  When was the last time you defended having your head crushed in the cheese grater of chained links?

Ignoring the importance of this aspect of MMA competition can be detrimental to your MMA game.  If this is the first time you’ve given these situations any consideration, or if you drill these positions as frequently as you clean your bathrooms, than this article might have some use for you.

Below are two more basic options for when  your opponent takes you down and attempts to drive you into the fence, a tactic that can severely cramp your ability to use your guard to it’s full extent.  These clips are Damage Control MMA exclusives for our friends here at www.DamageControlMMA.com

Basic Turn Off The Cage

Cage Walk Arm Bar

Here is an older clip we released with UFC Veteran Todd Medina. It contains more information pertaining to the use of the cage in an MMA fight.

And one more little bonus for you loyal followers of Damage Control MMA. A scrap from an old shoot we did that never made it to production because of a problem we had with the mic. The audio is unsalvageable but maybe you might find something of use in this one. A different way to look at knees while your opponent is against the cage.

MMA Training and Injuries

Brian with a snapped elbow and Kiser with a missing tooth... Lessons learned in the school of hard knocks.

Brian with a snapped elbow and Kiser with a missing tooth... Lessons learned in the school of hard knocks.

“If there’s magic in boxing, it’s the magic of fighting battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas. It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you.”

– Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris; Million Dollar Baby –

So true is this statement for anybody who has really applied themselves to the combative arts. And in the case of our friend, Kevin Dillard, the price was even higher… Yeah, can you say, broken Neck?

The following is Kevin’s account of the horrific ordeal along with my thoughts on the general subject of training and injuries.

——————————————–

Saturday:

This past weekend (August 16th) marks the tenth anniversary of my broken neck. I’d just had my birthday (August 8th), I had a brand new baby girl who was weeks old (the youngest of my three children).

Saturdays were a big thing for me. Every Saturday morning me and 5 to 10 other guys all met at Oates Gym here in Columbus, Georgia to train. Train hard.. REAL hard for about 3 hours.. every Saturday.. rain or shine.. well or sick.. healthy or injured.. NO MATTER WHAT.

Oates Gym was one of those wonderfully exquisite dungeons. A true and bonafide hole in the wall. No heat, no air, no hot water for the showers.. just cinder block and iron.. sweat and rust stains.. not to mention the occasional blood stains.. But legends had trained there.. Future stars of the MLB, NBA, NFL, WWF, IFBB.. Not to mention a couple of future governors of California and Minnesota.

There we no potted plants or ferns.. and NO daycare… and EVERYONE who was there was there to WORK. WORK HARD.

The gym was owned and run by Jerry Oates, a well known and respected professional wrestler and body builder. He was extremely well respected in Japan. Particularly All Japan Pro-Wrestling; who were known for their brutally stiff and rugged style.

My group of workout partners and myself were all some of Jerry’s “boys”.. Professional wrestlers or hopefuls aspiring to one day complete training to become a wrestler. Unlike most, I’d already been wrestling for almost 10 years; but still took part in the daily and weekly workouts. I only wanted to stay on top of things and always felt (and still do) that you could never learn enough.

The sessions were long and brutal. A few small athletic mats on a thinly carpeted concrete slab floor.. that was it… guys came and guys went.. most never got to leave that room and ever actually climb through the ropes into the ring..

The theory was if you could survive “taking bumps” (breakfalls) there.. Any ring would be gravy after that. This was a truly “old school” style wrestling camp.. If you couldn’t take it and if you couldn’t dish it right back out.. You simply weren’t going to make it.. No fluff.. No sugar coating anything.. Everything was brutally all out.. all the time and nothing pulled or held back and seldom did anyone ever ask for or expect you to lighten up on them in anyway.

Despite being sore and beat up constantly;

I loved it. Loved everything about it. Took pride in the amount of pounding I could either endure or administer

. It was and still is my true passion. So this one fateful Saturday morning 10 years ago, it started like any other.. Myself and the guys meeting to do our thing.. A lot of things were all chained or flowed together..I was paired up with this kid and he and I were going through a really physical series.. Suddenly out of nowhere; I find myself planted.. head first.. on concrete..

I sat up and in a split second I was right back down again. Only now, I couldn’t move a thing. I was on fire from head to toe.. Nerves going nuts .. incredible burning pain.. I could feel everything, but I could move nothing.

An ambulance was called and I was assured it was probably just a really bad “stinger”, but that they’d tape me down to this backboard “just to be safe”.. I knew right then and there that it was over.. EVERYTHING was over..
So a few hours later I find myself still taped down to this board, only now I’ve got my head taped in some kind of orange box and I’ve got a collar around my neck.. I’m going into an MRI machine and they’re having trouble getting me to fit into the damn thing At the time I was about 240 lbs and I run about 6’1 .. So my arms are crossed over my body and taped down into place and they’re rubbing some kind of lubricant (Vaseline, KY..? ?) up and down my arms to help shove me into the tube.

Kevin Dillard during his Pro Wrestling Phase

Kevin Dillard during his Pro Wrestling Phase

Later on I would be told that I had shattered my c3 and c4 vertebrae and that the disc between the two was still intact only now it and all the bone fragments were trapped behind my carotid arteries..

Oh yeah.. and by the way.. your spinal cord is trapped between the collapsed neck column.. And your paralyzed from the neck down…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY

..lol.

Later in the afternoon I’m greeted by a neurosurgeon who is going to do a fusion of the neck using a titanium plate and some bone taken from my left hip. He says that maybe once the swelling from the spinal cord trauma goes away, there’s a remote possibility that I could get the use of one of my arms back.. Of course there’s a whole slew of thing that can go wrong because of where all the bone fragments and disc are located. I tell him that at that point I’m basically just a head so go for it.. I’m obviously NOT going anywhere.

Sunday:

It would be a seven and a half hour surgery. I come out of it and I’m told that the fusion is a success..

Monday:

I’m told I’ll never walk again. They take me out of ICU and put me into a room and that’s that.

Thursday:

While waking from a morphine/Demerol cocktail fueled sleep, I could’ve sworn that I just moved one of my legs. After what seemed like forever.. I managed to slide my left leg just inches across the bed sheet.. I never knew you could actually think yourself into a sweat I start yelling and screaming for a nurse.. For anybody within earshot to come.. NOW!

After performing the same feat for a nurse.. then a therapist.. then my personal physician AND then the neurosurgeon.. ALL of whom could offer NO explanation on how it was even possible for this to happen.. I was placed into a halo and collar and released from the hospital to begin a long physical therapy/rehab program..
The rehab would take 18 months. Relearning how to walk properly and how to use my hands again..

About 6 months into the process, I’d started lifting weights again.. yeah.. in my halo and collar..

Guys would ask.. “are you even supposed to be in here? ?”.. And I’d look ‘em right in the eye and say.. “OH YEAH.. my doctor said its okay.”..no one ever challenged me or called me out on it.. And I figured that my level of conditioning was one of the reasons that I was able to even survive the accident in the first place.. So why stop moving.. ESPECIALLY if you’re given a second shot at moving… NOT being able to move sucks.. Imagine not being able to feed or dress yourself.. Or not being able to hold your children.

The next 18 months were full of challenges. My marriage was falling apart.. I’d been labeled “damaged goods” so to speak.. The career was going down the tubes.. there wouldn’t be anymore wrestling or combat (at least as far as I knew back then)..

The next 18 months were filled with many dark days. Eventually, I was released from rehab.. I had all my functions about me.. The only residual effect was a loss of feeling in the skin of my right leg from the hip to the floor (due to the trauma to my spinal chord).. a small price to pay to walk again.

All was great.. I was thinking that I’d find a way to somehow fix everything and everyone.. including myself.. only to find myself a few months later in the middle of a divorce and being given full custody of my three kids.. The youngest being my 18 month old baby girl along with an older brother and sister.

Intellishred Author: Kevin Dillard

Intellishred Author: Kevin Dillard

I’ll skip all the sticky bits about single parenthood and the trials of rebuilding myself and a life.. Suffice to say only this.. I have no regrets in life at this point.. There is no way I could have learned as much as I know about myself, parenting, life and living if it wasn’t for having gone through all of this.

If anything… I learned that I am a fighter.. Once its in your blood.. whether on a mat, in a ring or in dealing with whatever life throws at you.. We as fighters just attack it and deal with it differently than most.. We accept the challenges. We’re participators rather than spectators.

Now I have been blessed with a beautiful, loving and intelligent wife, who is not only my partner, but my best friend and fellow combatant in taking on life’s challenges. I’m back to training. I work out five days a week in the gym with weights and conditioning. I train submission grappling and BJJ at least two nights a week and I’ve been blessed to have a career in my second passion as a full time working musician.

And so my journey continues… everyday is another unread page.

_______________________________________________________________

Like Kevin, I too have had my share of injuries, shoulder dislocations, broken noses, a shattered eye socket, torn MCL, countless sprained ankles, broken fingers and toes, the list goes on and on.

Many of these could have been avoided with proper discipline and safer training practices. But I was young and thought that I would live forever and that Technique would prevail over size and strength. And, in my defense, there just weren’t that many, experienced and qualified instructors available at the time who where skilled and familiar in MMA style training and could guide me and those like me in the proper, safer way to do things.

But that is neither here or there. What is done is done.

It would seem that these hardships are not without their benefits, if you take the time to find them.

I can recall hearing Ajarn Greg Nelson, a legendary Professional MMA Fight Trainer and the first survivor or stage 5 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma AND neurolymphomatosis, recount how his way of understanding Martial Arts Techniques was forever changed when he learned how to look at movement from the very ground up. He credits this new insight to his struggle to teach himself how to walk again by understanding how each and every muscle fiber did what was necessary to put one foot in front of the other. And then by sheer force of will, fired them up, one by one, to make it back to his feet. Below is a clip of Ajarn Greg, post Cancer.

I have learned much from my own wounds.

I have learned how to be an opportunist. Maybe your arm is broken, it’s an opportunity to work on your footwork, for striking, for takedowns, for guard passes.

Recently my shoulder has been diagnosed as having early onset arthritis. As I recover, I’ve been using the opportunity to isolate and work on leg locks, leg lock defenses, counters, etc.

After reading Kevin’s article and revisiting the lessons taught by Ajarn Greg, I have reflected on my own situation and learned anew, what a privilege it is to move. To just be on the mats, and to be able to do what I love. So many times in my past, I could have been without health insurance, or not been blessed with a surgeon who was able to properly diagnose and treat my ailments and that could have been it. With my arthritis, it got so bad at a point, I thought that I might even have to walk away from the Martial Arts altogether. Now, I am in recovery and I am so thankful to have the opportunities that I have.

I can hear the voice of my instructor Khuen Khru Will in my head now, relaying a prophetic quote to help drive home the point

Master Uguay: “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, Thats why it’s called the Present”

Any day you are on the mat is a day to be celebrated, it is indeed, a very good day! I am taking my present, my gift and enjoying every second of it. Don’t waste a single moment, for it may be your last.

It’s time to go train.

Timeless Techniques

Some techniques are timeless. Last week we took a look at the frontiers of Submission. The very bleeding edge of what can be done. This week we take a look at an old classic; the first counter to a kick catch that I ever learned. It’s like leather, seeing someone take one to the nads, The olde One-Two Combination or the Triangle Choke. These things never get old and I don’t think they ever will.

A special thanks to Khuen Khru Will for sharing these and for being our wonderful instructor for all these years.

The Frontiers of Submission

In the modern game of submission grappling it seems as though new rules are being written, old rules are being revised or recounted, and sometimes even broken at a break neck pace.

At times this leads to great leaps in the progress of the art and at others, great disasters. And there are still other instances, where these changes in conventional thinking simply further a particular strain of the overall submission fighting game. For instance, there are many techniques and tactics that work well within the confines of submission grappling, but not as well when applied in the area of Mixed Martial Arts. Even within MMA, there are rule structures (soccer kicking/kneeing the head of a downed fighter) and environments (cage vs ring vs open mat) that will foster the development and favoritism of differing methods.

The object of this article isn’t to pass judgment or to push an agenda (stick to the basics vs. explore the frontiers of possibility). I think there is great value in both areas of study. The object of this article is simply to compile some material I’ve found interesting and explain why I feel it has some merit.

I’ve found similar types of articles on other sites, though their subjects are a lot more focused. To this day, I believe that the Darce/Brabo study and the “No Posture Guard Pass” articles on www.aesopian.com are some of the most ground breaking compilations on the internet.

So lets get down to the analysis and explanation.

The first article, the “Brabo Choke Homework” caught my attention because it showed so many different angles and set up possibilities for this one type of choke. It’s funny because I am horrible at it. Despite all the research and information available though articles like this as well as first hand personal accounts from my own, very qualified instructors, I swear, I can’t remember the last time I was even close with one of these arm chokes.

I want to say it’s because I have short arms but the truth is more likely that I am an epically slow learner and not that bright to begin with.

But what I took away from this article was a realization that paired with something I heard Sensei Erik Paulson once say concerning triangling with the legs.

“So long as you have an arm and an leg between…” you’ve got a triangle choke. This article made me realize this to a much broader and higher degree.

Moving on to the second article, The No Posture Pass series. I thought this to be very interesting. For me, I think it would be dangerous to try this pass as a first option. I much prefer to establish and maintain solid posture from within the guard. But that doesn’t mean that I have to turn my nose up to something like this. In fact, there are plenty of times when my opponents or training partners are skilled to a degree that I am unable to regain or establish posture in the first place.

This is where I give ideas like the No Posture Pass series, their due. They have a place in my game as a last resort or plan B. I haven’t necessarily had that much success with this series either. But to be honest, I haven’t worked on it that much either. I put my effort into keeping, regaining and maintaining posture. But I like knowing that there is another route I can take if things don’t go the way I plan.

I like to keep series like this in my back pocket for rainy days. They’re like building a motorcycle in your garage on the weekends.

You work on them, piece by piece, now and again, when you have a moment of free time. You never know. One day, you just may be riding that bad boy right out of a nasty situation.

Recently I’ve found some new food for thought at www.jiujitsushare.com

The Kimura and Straight Arm Bar from within guard from Phil Migliarese and Jiujitsumatrix.com. This is another technique that I just don’t ever see myself “going for” when given a choice. But, as I’ve said before, there have been numerous times where I’ve found myself without a choice. Where a skilled BJJ Black Belt has set me up and put both my arms to one side of his body, or God forbid, I made a mistake and put them there myself.

When my opponent is all over me and simply will not let me get my arm back over to the other side. Why not go for a Kimura? If you are unable to get your arm back into position, your opponent’s probably going to take your back anyway. At least this way you might be able to put him in a reactive mindset and possibly on the defensive.

I like these types of clips because they are unorthodox and can catch your opponent off guard.

The challenge is really in finding how they fit into your personal game.

I like this technique and those like it because they give you a ray of hope, just when things are at their darkest. Sometimes you might even be terrible at pulling them off, which more times than not, is how I roll.

But so long as you have something to pull off, you’ve got a glimmer of hope. You’re not just sitting there waiting for your back to be taken.

The Kimura with your legs from bottom Side Cross:

This is craziness. And I Love it! This one is so far out there that I haven’t even drilled or begun to try to figure it out for myself. But I still really enjoy the clip.

What I like most about it is that it dares to think of the possibilities and challenge the limits. It looks at the essence of a submission hold and then asks, what tools do I have at my disposal to make this work?

And that to me is what is most valuable about this clip. If you can think that way about a Kimura, you can think that way about any submission using any available machinery to get the job done.

And finally, Ryan Hall’s 50/50 Guard and No Hands Leg Lock: http://pageman.multiply.com/video/item/109/ADCC_Verbal_Submission_via_5050_position_Ryan_Hall_Vs._Rafael_Gordinho_Correa

I’ll be honest, when I started hearing about this new thing, the 50/50 Guard, I had to learn more. But once I got a look at it, I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. It just looked like a plain old, leg lock war to me. Nothing out of the ordinary, or exceptional about it. It just looked like a position I’ve seen plenty of times before and worked within myself over the years.

But once I saw Ryan ripping knees apart without so much as hooking a heel, I took a second look.

This was what sparked my imagination. Being so technical with the isolation mechanics of a lock that you could submit or even break someone without even putting on the final touches. It inspired me to look at all my submissions in the same way and to begin the refining process, an over hall, of my submission arsenal if you will.

The first clip or Mr. Hall reminded me of Imanari’s iconic leg Kimura, except that Ryan’s was inverted/reverse but essentially the same mechanics were utilized to effect torque on the knee.

I’d love to see the clips that have inspired you guys or made you think again about your game or a technique in your repertoire. Please post them here and share.

I’ve shown you mine, it’s time to show me yours. It’s alright… I’m a Doctor.

Modern Catch As Catch Can: Written By Kris Iatskevich

Eddy Wiecz Carpentier

Eddy Wiecz Carpentier

” Let me show you how to properly do a front face lock”

Thinking that there wasn’t much an old ”pro” wrestler could teach a veteran grappler like myself, but having been brought up to respect my elders (and this guy was old, very old) I let him do his stuff, telling myself it would make the old man’s day ( I’m nice that way). He wrapped his still massive arms around my head, placed a hand on my shoulder, figure foured his wrists and cranked. Although he didn’t seem to apply much pressure, my knees buckled. My jaw, neck and spine made a loud cracking noise. I was certain he had just ripped my head straight off of my shoulders.

But he wasn’t done yet…he took me down and put me in a leg lock, a half Boston of all things, a fake ”pro” move (or so I thought).

What hadn’t cracked on the earlier move cracked then. Two weeks of regular chiropractor visits later, I humbly made my way back to the gym, armed with a new found respect for the old ”pro” wrestler and a desire to learn more about the old wrestling methods.

And so began my journey into the world of Catch as Catch Can wrestling… REAL ‘‘pro’’ wrestling.

(you can see the half boston crab in a MMA fight at 6:00 in, in the clip above)

Much like today, the Catch wrestlers of old were always looking for new ways to pin and submit their opponents. Their livelihood depended on it. In the past, these men dedicated themselves to the very real tradition of wrestling and engaged in completely real professional bouts. Furthermore, this wrestling was not the collegiate, free style or Greco-Roman wrestling we see today. It was submission wrestling, using techniques these men called “hooks’’

These submission wrestlers, called “hookers, shooters, pistols” by those in their trade, were the sort of men who sought real challenges and were not afraid to learn or show anything, Of course, this lead to a blend of wrestling styles. European styles mixed with Russian, Indian, and Japanese styles. So anyone claiming to know the ‘’true system’’ of CACC is either ignorant or trying to confine it to a mould that never existed before. There is no ‘’one way’’ of doing things, only principles and rules for you to use and play with. These principles and rules are what define Catch as Catch Can Wrestling and give it its unique flavour. I do admit that there are some Catch techniques and set ups that I have yet to find in other grappling systems, but what really sets it apart are the underlying principles behind the techniques, the philosophy of the art if you will.

After making its way to North America, around the end of the 19th century, the English Lancashire CACC wrestling style was blended with the “rough and tumble” American mentality of the era and a more aggressive catch-as-catch-can style of wrestling emerged, creating some of the most outstanding grapplers of that period.
In all the annals of history you would be hard pressed to find tougher and more skilled mat men than the Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestlers. These old time shooters took on all comers from all over the world and emerged victorious through a flood of blood, sweat, tears, and broken bones.

You can get a feel for the type of person who would study this art back in the day.

You can get a feel for the type of person who would study this art back in the day.

Catch can be particularly aggressive. Unfortunately, some mistake this aggressive pace for a lack of technical finesse.

The system is based on domination and pain compliance, but also on leverage, physics and control. The use of pressure points is also encouraged to set up techniques and keep opponents on the defensive.

All forms of submission holds, heel hooks, neck cranks and small joints manipulations are allowed within the CACC curriculum.

Catch has a wide appreciation of body mechanics and demonstrates a flexible and innovative mindset when it comes to submissions.

Not only does it use the typical subs you see across styles, but also flows freely from one technique to another, often times improvising subs to better take advantage of whatever the opponent leaves open during a scramble. Hence the name Catch as Catch Can (Catch a hold anywhere you can).

Basically, besides gouging, fish hooking, biting and deliberate striking, all is permitted within the CACC rule set. It’s all about getting the job done, as quickly and as effortlessly as possible.

Here you see typical wrestling holds, arm bars similar to in jiu-jitsu, and throws found in sambo

Here you see typical wrestling holds, arm bars similar to in jiu-jitsu, and throws found in sambo

Actually, the term ‘’ No Holds Barred’’ was originally used to describe the wrestling method prevalent in CACC tournaments during the late 19th century

, Meaning that no holds were banned from competition. That is why the CACC Wrestling men had to know how to throw, control, pin and submit their opponents from every angle and position imaginable. These men coupled brutal submissions (double wristlocks, neck cranks, toeholds etc) with an ability to twist their opponents into pretzels to pin them.

Since a Catch as Catch Can match can be won by either submission or pin, Catch wrestlers pay particular attention to positioning; high level of proficiency in breakdowns, rides and pins is required to excel in this system. Position is crucial to pulling off any submission, and even more so to obtain a pin.

Bottom escapes is another aspect of the game that is perfected. knowing that your opponents will work extra hard at keeping you on your back to obtain the pin, an incredible amount of time is spent working our way back up from bottom .

CACC became by far the most popular American sport during the post-Civil War period up until just before World War I, especially in the carnivals and fairs.

The carnival’s wrestlers challenged the locals as part of the carnival’s “athletic show”

and the locals had their chance to win cash reward if they could defeat the carnival’s strongman by a pin or a submission. This eventually led to the carnival’s wrestlers preparing for the worst kind of scenario and aiming to end the wrestling match quickly and decisively. As carnival wrestlers traveled, they met with a variety of people, learning and using techniques from various folk wrestling disciplines, many of which were accessible due to a huge influx of immigrants in the United States during this era

An ad for a "Catch As Catch Can" Wrestling Bout

An ad for a "Catch As Catch Can" Wrestling Bout

It is important to remember that there were also many style vs. style matches. In this way, the Japanese, amongst others, became very aware of the CACC tradition and vice versa.

Judo expert and prize fighter Mitsuyo Maeda also known as ‘’Count koma’’ perfected his fighting system by competing in and learning Catch as Catch Can before moving to brazil and teaching is style of fighting to Carlos Gracie.

Another judoka, Masahiko Kimura, also learned Catch as Catch Can while working as a professional wrestler. Kimura would go on to defeat Helio Gracie with a staple hold of CACC the Double Wrist Lock aka ‘’The Kimura’’.

Karl Gotch after honing his skills at the infamous ‘’Snake pit’’ in Wigan were he learned CACC, travelled to india and studied Pehlwani (Indian Wrestling) and then to Japan were he studied Judo and Sumo. My coach Edouard Wiecz Carpentier, , practiced Greco Roman Wrestling, Boxing and Savate before turning his attention to Catch as Catch Can. Later, he also became an avid Judo player.

Much like many of their contemporaries, these men were cross training even before we had coined a term for it.

I often thought that, were Karl Gotch, Billy Robinson, Edouard Wiecz and many of the old time greats in their prime today, they would be at the forefront of MMA fighting, as it is results oriented instead of performance oriented like pro wrestling. Given their training and dedication, they would have been at the top of the mma food chain.

Eddy Wiecz Carpentier, Paul Leduc, Bob "Legs" Langevin

Eddy Wiecz Carpentier, Paul Leduc, Bob "Legs" Langevin

Unfortunately, while many of the ‘’Old Timers’’ kept a very open mind towards training. Some coaches today seem to adopt a very dogmatic approach to teaching.

Beware of all teachers who tell you that their method is the only legitimate one. All Grappling styles are good, it’s up to you to find witch one suit you best.

On a closing note, here is what I have learned in my 30 + years of practice.

Judo, Sambo , Wrestling (Freestyle/Greco Roman/Folk style) , Catch as Catch Can and BJJ are all legitimate combat sports. They’ve all been proven effective.
Nothing else needs to be said.

If you want to be good at grappling, find a good grappling club and train there. The rest all comes down to the instructor and the individual.

We all know what styles are effective and which ones are not. Just pick one you have access to and train hard. For the best grappling system out there, the only one worth devoting yourself to, is the one you enjoy practicing.

And to paraphrase my good Friend Jake Shannon president of Scientificwrestling .com

‘’So what is modern Catch as Catch Can Wrestling? ANYTHING that is legal under the rules of a catch wrestling contest IS catch wrestling. I think a lot of people get confused that because catch wrestlers show a lot of little known but effective techniques that they think there is some sort of secret society where a few anointed people “know” catch wrestling. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Catch wrestling is “Open to suggestion”. Anyone can contribute as long as their contribution “works”.

The only “proper” way to pin or submit a man is the way that works. That’s it. Catch wrestling isn’t necessarily a canon of technique; it is a METHOD and a set of rules.
Each person will chain the techniques their own way. Each person will apply the subs and pins based on their individual body types and knowledge base. Catch is rigorously individualistic.

That is why we are here, to continue experimenting in new ways to pin and submit people; no points. The permutations are endless.

That is why it is called Scientific Wrestling; test it, prove it, use it, teach it to others to help them.

These men will champion catch (their own brand of catch) and will have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they know their subject. It is truly an exciting time!’’

Exciting times indeed!

As an addendum to the original article, Coach Iatskevich asked me to include the following links for reference:

first is an article written in 1905 and debates catch wrestling vs Jiu jitsu
http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsart_leonard_0802.htm

second Is an overlook of the history of MMA and it,s link to catch wrestling
http://www.kocosports.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=18493&z=9

third is the story of Ad Santel vs judo
http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/ad-santel-and-catching-our-history-11623

From Kris Iatskevich: “I know some of these stories seem a bit negative,I personally don’t like comparing systems. But what you get from them. is the understanding of how much these arts influenced each other.”

Kris Iatskevich has studied different fighting arts for the last 30 + years.

– Catch Wrestling under the guidance of Eddy Wiecz Carpentier since ’96
– Lead Instructor for the Scientificwrestling.com certification program
– Black Belt and Regional rep. for SAW (submission arts wrestling) Hidetaka Aso
– Black Belt Judo
– Canadian rep for FIAS Sambo
– President of Catch Wrestling Canada Association
– Owner and Head coach of the Quebec Toe hold Club

You can learn more about him, his system and more at his official website:
http://www.catchwrestlingcanada.com/

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As a final note from me (Brian Yamasaki), I would like to add that I own both of Coach Iatskevich’s Competition Catch as Catch Can DVD’s and consider them some of the best DVD’s I own.  They contain an enormous amount of useful information and give a fresh perspective to the art of Submission Wrestling.  I highly recommend either or both of these wonderful volumes.

Competition Catch As Catch Can Volume 1

Competition Catch As Catch Can Volume 1

Competition Catch As Catch Can Volume 2

Competition Catch As Catch Can Volume 2

Arm In Guillotine From Sit Up Sweep

This is an awesome technique taught by our friend, a Pedro Sauer BJJ Black Belt and MMA fighter, Paul Sizemore.

The Arm In Guillotine can be more effective than the regular Guillotine, especially against seasoned opponent’s because the escape and counter measures are different since the arm that would usually go over the back is now trapped.

Enjoy!