Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Travelling to Train

I have a disease.  An affliction, if you will. No, not the tacky MMA Tshirt kind of affliction.  I simply cannot go somewhere, whether it be to visit friends, or on vacation, without checking out places to train in the area.  My personal motto could easily be " Training gear.  Don't leave home without it." or "Got gear, Will travel."  It drives my fiance nuts when we talk about going on a trip and I immediately google what MMA or Jiu Jitsu clubs are in the area.   Last year when we were in the middle of a legal battle with our boss we took a 10 day vacation to the Philippines.  It was what I imagine heaven looks like.  We stayed on the Island of Borocay, named one of the top 10 beaches in the WORLD, in a hut for eleven dollars a night.  During the day we drank 25 cent beers and highballs all day long.  When we were sober enough we would go snorkeling or on a boat ride with one of the local operators.  Apparently that wasn't enough for me.  I needed to get punched in the face or have my arm torqued by some local fighters to feel like I really understood the place.
Fighter entrance at the MMA event in Manilla
Luckily for me I did some research and made some contacts before we got to Manilla.  As luck would have it the night that we flew into Manilla was also the night of the biggest MMA event of the year in the Philippines.  I made plans to meet up with a few local fighters at the event.  The event itself was pretty cool, and the fighters hooked me up with some places to train boxing and jiu jitsu for the next few days.  It was pretty sweet.  Check out the pics.

One of the things I am looking forward to this summer is the opportunity to take a few road trips and do some training.  I'll probably hit Adrenaline Training Center in London, Xtreme Couture in Toronto, visit my buddy Adrian who is spending the summer in Ottawa and train with OAMA or FIT MMA and I'd like to take a trip back to my old stomping grounds in Thunder Bay and train with the boys at Leading Edge. 

Throwing an omoplata in the Philippines.  I know, I know... My hips should be facing the other way.

Super Kid Smashes Some Other Korean Guy.

A while ago I posted a video of one of the "Super babies" that train at Daegu MMA in Korea.  I told you to keep an eye on some of them and that you'd probably be hearing their names at some point.  Well one of those kids that we often called "Monkey" (His real name is Sang Yeon Kim) turned 16 recently and had his first pro fight.  That's right.  First pro fight at 16 years old.  He absolutely dominated and stopped the guy on strikes from mount in under a minute.  You can see the video here  but be warned, the video loads really slowly.

Hanging out with Aoki and Imanari.  No big deal.

Speaking of travelling for MMA, I ran across a few pics from my trip to Japan the other day.   There were two back to back pics of Mazakazu Imanari and Shinya Aoki, two of the best grapplers in the MMA game, that I thought were pretty funny.  I was trying to act nonchalant at the weigh-ins for DEEP.  You know, act like you've been there before type of thing.  I couldn't resist taking a few snaps of these guys though.  Funny thing is every time I took a picture they happened to be looking right at the camera with a "why is this other fighter taking pictures of me?" look on their face.
That's my Korean buddy Dong Hyun in the foreground and Aoki peering over the table in the background.  What're you staring at Shinya?  You need a knuckle sandwich?

You too Imanari?  You eyeballing me?  Yeah, I didn't think so.

NEWS! (nope, just kidding, still can't say anything)
Lots of people have been asking about my "news".  I really thought I'd be able to let it out by now, but that is not the case.  I've had a few fights tentatively booked and fall through and there are a few more options on the table.  As soon as I know anything for sure I'll post it here.  Some of you have sen my face on the poster for a upcoming King of the Cage event.  That fight is not confirmed yet, although it is a possibility.  The Ontario MMA scene is still new and growing.  Here's hoping tings settle down and become a little more predictable over the next year.

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