I'm finally going to get to compete in Korea. Not in MMA, not in Jiu Jitsu, but in the sport of Sambo. Sambo is a Russian martial art closely related to Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling. I actually think my skills are a little more suited to Sambo competition than Jiu Jitsu. Sambo emphasizes takedowns and, like wrestling if noting is happening on the ground the referee will stand you back up to fight from the feet. If you throw your opponent off of his feet onto his back you win automatically, like in Judo. You can also submit your opponent for the win, but there are no chokes allowed. Sambo practitioners are well known for their leg locks. In Sambo you wear a Gi top with some shorty-shorts, half way between a wrestling and Jiu Jitsu/Judo uniform. Here's a Sambo highlight of a guy who is apparently one of the best Samboists of all time.
Only 5 guys from the club going to the tournament in Seoul; me, Po Ku, Hyon Gul, Un Sik and Yeong Sai. These guys are pretty much the studs of the club so I feel like I'm in pretty good company. When I showed up to Jiu Jitsu tonight Jae Hoon told me "No Jiu Jitsu. Tournament team, Judo training." It took me a while to figure out that we were actually driving across town to a Judo club to work on our takedowns in the Gi with the Judo guys. They probably told me yesterday. Then again, they probably told me in Korean. Funny that we drove all the way across town when there's a Judo club across the street. Martial Arts politics rears it's head again; across the street.. not friends. Across town... friends.
Doing Judo again was pretty cool. Judo is a takedown based sport like wrestling, but the gi changes things a lot. Being a lot more comfortable in the Gi these days made the transition a lot easier than the first time I tried it back when I was in University in Thunder Bay. I dare to say that I held my own with the black belts and even scored some decent throws. I think the Judo guys were a bit surprised as they were expecting a bunch of Jiu Jitsu players. Yeong Sai is also a very good Ssirum (Korean wrestling) wrestler and he was chucking guys around as well. Ssirum is a very traditional sport, dating back to at least 65 BC. In Korea the big national tournaments are still a pretty big deal and are televised. All of the Ssirum dudes I've met are tough customers and can throw like crazy. I'd like to find a place to give it a try. Check it out.
Anywho, I'll bring my camera and try to get lots of pictures and video of the tournament. If I get thrown or armbarred, you will see noting.