Friday, December 11, 2009

Soooooooooooooooo... my computer died.  That was a while ago.  I have tonnes of pics and vids on there that I want to put up on the blog.  Apparently there's an evil computer genius that lives near us that can hopefully recover those files.  Lesson learned; always back up your files. When I say lesson learned I mean, that's what you should do, not necessarily what I'll do from now on.

The MMA Lowdown

I skipped the Jiu Jitsu tournament this past weekend.  I hurt my shoulder a little while ago and hadn't done any real sparring in almost two weeks.  I've had a lot of time to work on some technical things that I've been thinking about so it wasn't a total waste of time. I sparred for the first time on Saturday and every day this week and it feels okay... just a little limited in my range of motion.  Daegu MMA won the team title at the tournament again.

Daegu MMA has undergone a bit of a facelift.  There are huge new banners that pull down from the ceiling everywhere with pictures of team members in action and accolades that have been collected by the team in the last few years.  Some of the pictures that are on the banners are pretty cool.  For example, there's a picture of Jae Hoon (the owner) holding pads for Lyoto Machida.  When I asked him about it he said "Yesh. Lyota Masheeda. Vely good balanceuh."  That's it.  After training with one of the best fighters in the world all he can say is that he has good balance.  Hilarious.

On Monday night we were treated to a seminar by the first Korean born Ju Jitsu blackbelt.  The seminar was good, but focused on how to use the gi against your opponent.  There was some pretty interesting stuff, but there's no real application beyond sport jiu jitsu...  unless of course you get into a fight with a guy wearing pajamas that have double reinforced collars and sleeve cuffs.  With that being said, I am really starting to appreciate the intricacies of working in the gi, even if a lot of it doesn't translate to MMA very well.

I've been training at a new kickboxing gym in my area for the last few weeks.  The guy who runs the gym is pretty young and has fought in some big events.  He has held multiple belts, including one world championship belt at 81 kg.  I don't know how legit the world title is, but all of the guys at Daegu MMA say he's good, which goes a long way in my books.  Because the gym is brand new there aren't a lot of people who train there yet. There are some classes that run on a schedule but I've been lucky to work mostly one on one with the owner.  When I go to the club right after work he's usually the only one there, watching TV or playing video games. I warm up on my own and hit the bag until he decides that I'm ready or until he can't bear to watch my brutal technique anymore.  That's when he puts the pads on and works me through 20 - 30 minutes of technical and conditioning padwork.  His English is about as good as my Korean, which is to say embarrassing.  Luckily we both speak the universal language of dirty beatdowns. When I'm done on the pads I always have to do between 400 and 600 roundhouses on the heavy bag.  Then it's "fwee time-uh".  It's awesome having someone of his caliber to work with one on one and I think he appreciates having someone around who is willing to work his but of and do whatever he says. 

KOTC in Sault Ste. Marie
On Saturday night 5 fighters from Ho Shin Sool will fight at King of the Cage: Title Defense.  This will be the first time that anyone from HSS has fought without me being there.  I was the first HSS fighter to step in the cage, I've fought as the only HSS fighter on a card and I've traveled to support other fighters when they were the only HSS fighters on a card.  I'm extremely proud of what we've been able to accomplish with Jim leading the way and I couldn't be happier with the group of guys that train at HSS.  The last time KOTC was in the area our team went 5-0.  While no one can guarantee that it will happen again I can tell you that every fighter is well prepared and will leave everything they have in the cage that night.  Adrian said it pretty well in his athlete profile on the Catalyst Fitness website.

"...when you step into the cage you stand alone but you hold a piece of each of those people. Every time they have ever pushed you, tried to break you, punished you they make you stronger. They stand beside you because “I” don’t fight on the 12th “We” fight. It’s a family, never before have I belonged to a family as completely as to this one and nobody attacks this family. I hope you all read this and know I love all of you like brothers.
Lastly, I cannot guarantee you a win. It’s a fight and anything can happen, I can however guarantee that everything I have gets laid out for everyone to see and would bet my life that my teammates do the same. In return I ask one thing when a Ho Shin Sool fighter’s name gets called you leave everything you have inside that building. Don’t save it for the next guy, you always have another gear and I want you drop it into fifth. Make the floor vibrate, make the other man tentative to come out, put fear in his heart and fill ours. That’s it that’s all I ask, come 12 – 12 bring the noise."

Give you chills? It did for me.  If you need another reason to go see the fights it shouldn't hurt that Tony Hervey who holds the 145 lb. KOTC World Title will be defending his belt.  Hervey just lost a very close 5 round decision to Takanori Gomi, long considered one of the best fighters in the world, in Japan.  Some people are calling that fight the fight of the year.  Do yourself a favour and look it up, it's one of the most entertaining fights I've seen in a long time.  Check out the commercial for KOTC: Title Defense at the top right of my page.

I'm not going to say god luck to the fighters because I believe when you're skilled, well trained, in shape and focused luck doesn't play a roll.  Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.  The preparation has been done, the opportunity will come along Saturday night.  Do what you do guys, I can't wait to hear about it.

Ultimate Frisbee
I'm surprised that I haven't mentioned this before.  For the past 10 weeks I've been playing in an Ultimate Frisbee league in Daegu.  The league runs on Sundays and there are three or four games every day.  Getting out and running hard every Sunday is great but the best part is that most players show up for the whole day and just hang out.  The expat community here is pretty small so everybody knows each other somehow and it's fun to have everyone in the same place.

There are some really good players in the league and lots of first timers and can't throw or catchers.  Some people take it pretty seriously and some show up in their bar clothes from the night before.  The games are competitive (my team played 9 games and 7 of them were decided by two points or less) but they also serve beer on the field.  Here's a few pics of the Sunday afternoon action.

Most of the Daegu Hurricanes... best team in the league

The man known simply as B-Vance stretching for the disc.

Me trying to knock down the disc.  For arguments sake let's assume I was successful.

Things that are awesome in Korea: Heated Floors.
Koreans are way ahead of North America when it comes to Radiant heat flooring. Every building or house is heated this way.  It makes sense in a culture where people sit on the floor a lot.  It's awesome in the morning when you step out of bed ad your feet are on a toasty warm surface.  It's also awesome if you think ahead far enough to throw your clothes on the floor at night. When you wake up your underwear is like it just came out of the dryer.  EVERY DAY!
Things that suck in Korea: Bathrooms that have no heat at all.
Things in Korea aren't insulated very well and the bathroom which is always against an exterior wall has no heat source.  Bathroom tiles on a December morning are pretty much the worst thing you could ever step on.  Sitting on a plastic toilet seat in those temperatures creates a whole different world

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