Thursday, April 30, 2009

Are traditional martial arts useful in MMA?

Lyoto Machida competing in a UFC title fight proves that karate is useful in MMA. So now there is another question: can other traditional martial arts be useful in MMA?

My answer is: "Sure, why not?"

What are the differences between traditional martial arts and MMA? Traditional martial arts have been about secrecy, empiricism and positivism. There are certain types of skills that they logically explain, but they're not open to the outside public. Why? In the ancient samurai era, people were fighting to kill one another; there's no way to teach those skills to people as "sport."

Of course, not every skill is a secret. Michihiro Omigawa and Hiromitsu Miura have told interviewers how throwing skills depend on experience, training a lot and learning how to feel where an opponent's balance is. So, sometimes, western training partners may think they're keeping secrets, but they're not. Some skills can't be taught in words.

Sengoku champion Satoru Kitaoka is known for his fast submissions, but he's had lessons from Japanese taekwondo pracititioner Kazuo Tachi. Tachi's gym is the home of Yoriko Okamoto, an Olympic bronze medalist at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Taekwondo separated from karate, and entered the Olympics as an official sport in 2000. It's had its own evolution as a sport. Sport taekwondo is like fencing, because when a fighter strikes with a legal attack, he gets a point. Therefore, taekwondo fighters prefer direct methods to reach opponents.

Yu Ueda is a fighter on the rise. He will face Kotetsu Boku, who is known as an elite fighter. I don't think he will win against Boku, but Ueda is definitely an interesting fighter, as he uses taikiken in MMA.

Taikiken was developed by Kenichi Sawai, who was taught by Chinese martial artist Wang Xiangzhai. Ueda hasn't said a lot about his style, but how he beat Jin Kazeta with his stance is easily recognizable and interesting.

"The complete fusion of attack and defense is the beauty of traditional martial arts," said Ueda.

This quote is enough to explain the beauty of traditional martial arts.

Big thanks to Jordan Breen (from Sherdog) for English advice for this post.

Big thanks to Chris Nelson (from Bloody Elbow) for English editing.

Jiujitsu cross train team at Japan

Train in one team is not enough to prepare for todays MMA.So fighter choice cross training.Today I introduce BJJ cross train team in Japan.Maybe you find something when they fight.


Japan Fight Team (=JFT) 2003 to 2007

started by Toshiyuki Wado and Mitsuyoshi Hayakawa.
train at tryforce jiu-jitsu academy

Japan Fight Team

Toshiyuki Wado(Academia Az)
Mitsuyoshi Hayakawa(Triforce)
Kuniyoshi Hironaka (Academia Az)
Naoya Uematsu (Cross Point Kichijyouji)
Kazuhiro Kusayanagi (K'z Factory)
Takeshi Yamazaki (GRABAKA)

include other jiujitsu blackbelt


Yasumi's bottom team (=YBT)

start by 3 fighter listed below
train at Lotus Paraestra Setagaya

start member

Kohei Yasumi (Paraestra Tokyo)
Naoya Uematsu (Cross Point Kichijyouji)
Fanjin Son (Scramble Shibuya)

participate (at least train one time)

Satoru Kitaoka (PANCRASEism)
Sotaro Yamada (BRAVE)
Kazuyuki Miyata (Freelance)
Miki Shida (P's LAB Tokyo)
Sakae Kasuya (K'z factory)
Ayumu"GOZO"Shioda (Paraestra Hachiouji)
Naoyuki Kotani (Rodeo Style)
Masahiro Oishi (K'z factory)
Shinya Aoki (Paraestra Tokyo)
Masakazu Imanari (Team Roken)
Akira Kikuchi (Krazy Bee)
Rumina Sato (Roots)
Daiju Takase (Freelance)
Hideo Tokoro (Reversal)
Kotetsu Boku (Krazy Bee)
Masanori Kanehara (Paraestra Hachiouji)
Tomonari Kanomata (Paraestra Hachiouji)

I don't guarantee information.

original forum post 09/20/2006

Sunday, April 26, 2009

How good is Fedor really? Judge from a professional view.

Hiromu Yoshitaka is unknown outside of Japan, but he's a former champ of Shootboxing (kickboxing with throws and standing submissions). He evaluates many MMA fights in magazines. I trust his views and they've affected me a lot. My views on striking owe a lot to him, though I also have my own views.

When I watched Diego Sanchez fight Joe Stevenson, I told Jordan Breen that Diego used his footwork better than Joe. Afterward, Yoshitaka wrote about the fight on his blog and said basically the same thing that I had said to Breen.

What I mean is that I got a lot from Yoshitaka, but I still form my own opinions when watching fights.

Let me talk about Fedor vs. Arlovski. What was the most important thing in that fight? Freddie Roach coaching Arlovski and giving basic strategy. Like Roach's other boxers, Arlovski was using a basic 1-2 combo on Fedor. Arlovski is faster than Fedor, so Fedor backpedaled, and a fighter usually loses stability when stepping backward.

Why do elite K-1 fighters like Badr Hari get KO'd by MMA fighters? Because MMA fighters push them. When you step backward, you should be using your arm to balance. Because of this, almost every fighter lowers their guard.

Because he doesn't use equipment to build muscles, Fedor has a very soft body. He can weave to avoid punches and he doesn't lose his stability. You can see how awesome Fedor's balance is when he avoids Arlovski's takedowns.

Arlovski did succeed in putting Fedor near the corner. Then Arlovski tried the jumping knee, which Fedor countered beautifully. What was so good about the punch? His angle.

Fedor's counter to the flying knee didn't come from boxing. Fedor has a soft shoulder because of his judo background, and that's where the counter came from. It's hard to predict that move, so you can't blame Arlovski for trying the knee.

So, I know it's taboo, but what if Arlovski didn't try the flying knee and just kept pouring on the straight 1-2 combos? My thought is that Fedor would have showed just how deep his game was in this fight. People talk about how game Big Nog is, but Fedor may be even more of a gamer, and he sure can show how deep his skill runs when he's being beat.

But basically, Arlovski is a fast guy who kept Fedor on the move. We should thank him for doing the best he could.

In the future, I hope that even better competitors will summon Fedor's deep abilities.

Big thanks to Chris Nelson (from Bloody Elbow) for English and editing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Next Karate MMA star?

Katsunori Kikuno is a former Kyokushin karateka who trains at Tsuyoshi Kohsaka's Alliance-Square gym and is also mentored by "TK." Kikuno's trademark skill is a karate kick to the liver, somewhere between a front kick and a roundhouse. It's called the "mikazuki geri," or "crescent kick."

Why has this kick received so much attention? Because it can be used to counter takedown attempts.

Kikuno used a Sanchin (or hourglass) stance against Koichiro Matsumoto in their Deep lightweight title fight, so we're beginning to see the mixture of karate and MMA in his game.

The Sanchin stance basically killed Matsumoto's in-out stepping tactics. When his arms moved forward, it left a perfect opening for a superior kicker like Kikuno.

Wikipedia Sanchin

Big thanks to Chris Nelson (from Bloody Elbow) for English and editing.

Cult martial arts in MMA

How do you feel about Koppo.

It probably reminds you of Takumi Yano.

What is Koppo?

Koppo is a martial art developed in China.
But one man says Koppo was created in Japan.

His name is Masashi Horibe. (Yano's mustache is a parody of Horibe's.)

Around 1995, many traditional martial arts tested from one man: Rickson Gracie.

Many traditional martial artists challenged Vale Tudo to make a name for themselves.They also felt pressure from students who wondered, "is this martial art really effective?"

Many old martial arts failed to survive in MMA.

But a few martial artists survived in MMA and created a new wave in Japanese martial arts.

Yoshinori Nishi from Karate challenged Rickson Gracie in Vale Tudo Japan '94 and lost. After that, he developed a group named Wajyutsu Keisyukai.

Nishi said, "I recognized that refusing to fight for fear of defeat is shame.I want to aim my dream 'to be strong man' no matter what happens in my life."

Koppo is one martial art hoping to survive in MMA. Horibe says Koppo skills are effective in MMA.

They send two fighters to MMA event.

It was named "Universal Vale Tudo Fighting 2."

But the Koppo fighters were defeated badly. After that, Horibe decided they wouldn't try MMA again. Many students left Koppo in disappointment.

Takumi Yano is one of those Koppo students.

In 2005, featherweight rankings were crushed by one pupil. His name was Hideo Tokoro.Tokoro knocked out Alexandre Franca Nogueira (known as "Pequeno") by backfist.

After the fight, one interviewer asked him:

"Where did you learn the backfist?"

Tokoro answered:

"I learned it from Oyaizu-san."

Hiroshi Oyaizu was one of the Koppo guys defeated in Universal Vale Tudo Fighting 2. He quit Koppo in 1999 and moved to Paraestra. Oyaizu taught MMA for many guys. He returned to MMA at ZST in 2006.

I don't want to defend Koppo. Horibe lied about Koppo's effectiveness in MMA.But sometimes cult Martial Arts can be effective in MMA. And you should know it.

Of course, the backfist isn't Koppo's originally.

I don't guarantee this information.
I worked hard on this. I'd like to get your response.

Koppo Headquarter

original forum post 09/12/2006

Big thanks to Chris Nelson (from Bloody Elbow) for English editing.

Have you interest with fighter's strike background?

I decide to inform fighter's strike background.People know fighters sub background.But that's not enough for watching MMA.Of course I know some people mention muay thai.

I say striking is include defense skill.Fighter work on sub should know defense strike now.

This status get from reliable source.(MMA magazine,Fighter's own blog)
I should say this is not current status.

I don't guarantee information.
I work hard for this.I like to get your response.

P.S This information only include Japanese fighter.If you want other country's fighter.I suggest you do it.You can better English (or other language) than me.


Takanori Gomi

Sagamihara Yonekura
Yonekura produce 5 Boxing World champ.

Jissen Karatedou Bushinjuku(Takehiro Kato(former Kyokushin champ,Rachadamnoen fighter))

Tatsuya Kawajiri,Mitsuhiro Ishida,Hiroyuki Takaya,Kenji Osawa,Hidetaka Monma,Ryuta Noji,Yoshinori Koyama,Sotaro Yamada more (known named Team Kurofune)

JB SPORTS GYM (Takeshi Yamada)
JB produce 1 Boxing OPBF Champ. Owner is Manga author (Fighting Spirits)

Takashi Nakakura,Seichi Ikemoto,Daisuke "13" Hanazawa,Hidemi Mihara

Team Yoshitaka (Hiromu Yoshitaka(former shooto boxing champ))

Hatsu Hioki

Boxing Team Zero (Taketomi Nakajima)

Shinya Aoki

Daidojiku Kichijoji (Kenichi Iimura(former Daidojuku (Karate style MMA) champ,Rachadamnoen fighter))

Rumina Sato,Hidehiko Yoshida,Kazuhiro Nakamura,Ryo Chonan,Yasuhiro Urushitani,Hirotaka Yokoi,Yuji Hisamatsu,Yuya Shirai more

Rikix (Riki Onodera(former kick boxing champ))

Yushin Okami,Eiji Mitsuoka,Kazuhiro Nakamura,Makoto Takimoto,Yuki Kondo,Yoshiki Takahashi,Maximo "Makishi" Blanco,Kiuma Kunioku

Katsuhisa Tashiro (free box trainer former Numata jym)

Satoru Kitaoka

Hirotodojo(Toshinori Suzuki(box Trainer))

original forum post 09/03/2006