Author Archives: Sam Al

About Sam Al

I'm just a nerdy guy who lives in suburbia and fearlessly expresses his views about life. Oh, and offending people is a favourite pastime of mine.

Hapkido in Action

I didn’t want my previous post to seem overbearing so here are some videos of hapkido in action. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S7g3xb44q4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiAbwNwHL6w

And my personal favourite, which features Grand Master Hwang In-Sik fighting (more like humiliating actually) Jackie Chan in this scene from the 1980 martial arts film Young Master.

Advertisements

My Continuing Journey as a Martial Artist

Since discovering Jeet Kune Do in 2010, I have come to appreciate Bruce Lee’s philosophy on fighting which is, simply put, get rid of any and all filler and develop a system which works best for you. One of the more fundamental aspects of JKD is, what appears to me, to be is its eclecticism in that it doesn’t hold strict to any rigid forms and is always evolving

That is why I have decided to leave the gym where I currently train, Kombat Arts Training Academy, and move myself to East-West Hapkido which is located in a more remote part of Toronto near the run-down area of Dupont and Dufferin. For those of you who aren’t familar with hapkido, it is an eclectic martial art which is closer to an extreme self-defense system than anything else as it is definitely not sport-friendly due to the techniques it employs.

Hapkido in action

For more information, I recommend reading the following (I don’t want to risk giving wrong information):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hapkido

http://www.worldhapkido.com/index.html

Women’s MMA Triumphs

History was made this past Saturday at UFC 157 as the first ever women’s title fight headlined the main card. Ronda Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) successfully defended her bantamweight title against the always-dangerous challenger in Liz Carmouche (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC). This was the first fight where fans saw Rousey in any sort of danger as Carmouche very nearly locked in a vicious standing neck crank that would quite literally have killed a lesser human being.

Liz Carmouche very nearly breaking Ronda Rousey’s neck.

In the end though, the fight ended the way many of us expected it to. Rousey was able to shake Carmouche off her back, got her down to the ground, and from there, the end was nigh. Carmouche, likely due to her arm being tired out from the attempted neck crank, succumbed to a rather nasty armbar at 4:49 of Round 1. All the credit in the world to Rousey for coming out on top and credit to Carmouche for proving that she’s the real deal and is a definite contender at 135 lbs.

A triumphant champion stands proud.

Get ripped abs for the fighter in you – Men’s Fitness

Get ripped abs for the fighter in you – Men’s Fitness.

I’d like to take a break from all the UFC 148 hype for a moment and share these wonderful ab exercises with everyone. They are all quite simple to do but still very effective. I’ve done them myself and believe me, after only doing them three times over the course of three days, I was feeling it pretty heavily. In MMA, core strength is extremely important. It does wonders for your balance which is very important when it comes to things such as stuffing a takedown or standing straight whilst throwing that knockout head-kick.

Enjoy, and remember: Face the Pain!!!!! 😉

Keys to Victory & Prediction for UFC 148’s main event

This Saturday night, all the talking comes to a halt, all the anticipation comes to a head…it all ends. Chael Sonnen (27-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC) will put up or shut up as he fights Anderson “The Spider” Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) for the UFC middleweight championship. Everyone who follows MMA to some extent knows how the first fight went. Sonnen beat Silva up for 4.5 rounds before being caught in a “hail Mary” triangle choke, thrown up by Silva halfway through the fifth round. Since then, Sonnen has not let up with the trash talk, insulting everything about Silva, from his wife, to his home country of Brazil. Silva remained quiet on the matter until he made a recent outburst  that made everyone stand-up, GSP included.

Again, none of this will matter come Saturday night when the two warriors square off in UFC 148’s main event. Let’s have a toe-to-toe breakdown of the two fighters and I’ll end with a prediction of who will win this weekend.

Striking

This one is obvious. The advantage goes to Silva who hits with laser-point accuracy and knows how to hurt people. From his famous front face kick that knocked down Vitor Belfort at UFC 146 to the back-peddling jab that KO’ed Forrest Griffin at UFC 101, Silva is a striking guru in every sense of the word.

Sonnen certainly has a solid left jab and he did hit Silva with some solid shots in their first fight, not to mention knocking Silva down at least once and staggering him prior to that. But it’s going to take more than a good jab to get Anderson to the ground where Sonnen wants him.

Wrestling

Again, the advantage here is obvious and it goes to Sonnen. Chael is a former NCAA Division I All-American,  a former NCAA Division I champion, and was in the Pac-10 Conference in 1997. All of these awards hail from the University of Oregon. Sonnen took Silva down at will in their first fight and Silva never had an answer for Sonnen’s thunderous takedowns. Wrestling has always been Silva’s Achilles’ Heel, despite him being arguably the greatest fighter in the world.

Grappling

Silva is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and like wrestling for Silva, BJJ is Sonnen’s Achilles’ Heel. Eight of Sonnen’s career losses have come by way of submission. However in the first fight, Chael neutralized the majority of Silva’s submission attempts from the botton and even attempted an arm triangle at one point. Sonnen’s submission game is ever-improving as noticed in his fight with Brian Stann at UFC 136 in which he won with an arm triangle. I also attribute Sonnen’s triangle choke loss to Silva the first time not solely to sloppy submission defence but also to him simply being tired and became lazy. As a result, Silva saw an opening and went for it.

But at the end of the day, you have to give the advantage to Anderson because again, he is a black belt and Chael and submission defence are like oil and water.

Conditioning/Cardio

I would give the advantage to Sonnen purely because he is a wrestler. Wrestlers are known for what seem like endless gas tanks because when they train at the academic level in wrestling, it’s very grueling work and very tiring. You don’t achieve what Sonnen did at the University of Oregon if you can’t fight for 25 minutes. Sonnen has also gone the distance more so than Silva in his MMA career so he is used to fighting into the later rounds, whereas Silva is more adept at finishing a fight early on. The few times we have seen Silva go the distance, he has slowed down as seen in his fight with Demain Maia at UFC 112.

Experience

This could be argued as a toss-up given that both men have been fighting for a very long time. Anderson however, has been the UFC middleweight champion since 2006; a staggering six years! That’s unheard of in the MMA world. As a result, he has consistently fought top-level talent in each of his fights and for the most part, looked good while doing it.

Sonnen has been around the block, fighting in several different promotions throughout his career. He’s been in Pancrase, the IFC, Bodog, the WEC, and currently, the UFC. His experience gained is no joke as he worked hard to make his way up the ladder, to the spot as the No. 2 ranked middleweight in the world behind the champion.

Conclusion

At the current tally, it’s two advantages for Silva, two for Sonnen, and with the experience not being a tie-breaker, it’s three in total for both men. But who really has the advantage, in the end?

Chael P. Sonnen

No, I’m not crazy. Chael is inside Anderson’s head. Don’t believe me? Read Silva’s comments on what he’s going to do to Chael this Saturday night and watch the UFC 148 press conference from earlier today and you tell me that heated staredown wasn’t due to Silva’s emotions getting the better of him. Silva is a smart fighter. True, but if he lets his emotions get the better of him, he will leave himself open to Sonnen’s takedowns and we will see a better version of Chael than in their first fight. Chael will not stop pushing forward, he take Silva down, and punish him. Unless Silva has become a wrestling master, which I highly doubt, I don’t see this fight going Anderson’s way. Let’s not forget too that part of the reason Sonnen did so well in the first fight was because Silva couldn’t get Sonnen’s timing down and given Silva’s fighting style as a counter-puncher, the night almost went very badly for him.

FINAL PREDICTION: Chael Sonnen wins via unanimous decision

Endless injuries in MMA a result of fans’ demands?

If you’ve been following the latest UFC fight cards, along with the fighters who were supposed to be fighting on each one, you would have noticed that each and every card is suffering from fighters backing out due to injuries sustained in training camp. First it was Dominick Cruz, then it was Brian Stann, then it was Michael Bisping, then it was Jose Aldo, then it was Vitor Belfort…the list is seemingly endless at this point.

Dana White has also chimed in on the issue.

I wonder though. No doubt the injuries are a result of training too hard, but are fighters training harder because that’s what fans expect?

I’m sure most of you have seen this image floating around the web:

Just Bleed guy aka James Ladner

While the UFC has done a pretty good job of shedding the barbarian image away from contemporary mixed martial arts, there are fans who are still very impatient and to some extent, uneducated viewers who prefer to see aggressive stand-up strike fests as opposed to calculated, thought out chess games. What I am suggesting is that in some small way, because the MMA hype train is moving so quickly and the UFC is offering so much so fast, fighters are now under pressure to perform even harder than usual and as a result, are being injured more often in training. Why are they under pressure? Because fans love it when fighters go all out (see Sanchez/Guida or Henderson/Rua for confirmation) and the UFC knows that such fights will sell more tickets rather than seeing GSP wrestle his way into a decision and play it safe.

I welcome your thoughts and comments on the matter.

Brock Lesnar to return to the UFC?

Hey guys, how’s it going? I know, it’s been almost a month since my last post. Life gets in the way, unfortunately. Well…that and Diablo 3! BUT, I am back and what a plethora of going-ons there has been in the world of mixed martial arts, these past four weeks! Junior Dos Santos successfully defended his title, Cain Velasquez made a return in vintage form, Jason “Mayhem” Miller has retired, Nick Diaz has been suspended for marijuana use, Alistair Overeem has been suspended for nine months for steroid usage…the list is endless.

But to celebrate my grand return to the wonderful world of WordPress.com, I decided to report on my all-time favourite fighter who despite making a return to the political circus that is professional wrestling, has spun up the rumour mill like few others can. This man, my friends, is former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.

Brock was seen just this past Saturday night in Las Vegas attending UFC 146. No doubt he was there not just to watch the fights, but to see how his former nemesis Frank Mir would fare against a man whom Lesnar almost fought, current heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. For those of us that watched it, we all saw Mir lose in a really, really bad way and I’m sure Brock was smiling in some small way when it happened. To some however, this seems like more than just a coincidence.

Conspiracy theories of the MMA variety are flying out everywhere on the web now.  See for yourself. Is Brock indeed setting himself up for a UFC return? Is he playing an angle with the WWE? Is Dave Meltzer full of his usual crap? Or is Brock just being a good ole MMA fan? Sound off!!