Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A New Chapter - Jiujitsu

After getting my black belt in Taekwondo, I was no less motivated to keep training in Taekwondo than I was when I first walked into the dojang.

I have been, however, interested in supplementing my training, and becoming a more versatile martial artist. And having hit a milestone in Taekwondo, I thought it a good time to branch out.

So I went to a trial lesson at a Brazilian Jiujitsu studio here in New Haven. My rationale for trying Jiujitsu is three part -
  • First, being trained in Taekwondo, my "standing upright, striking" side has been trained pretty well.
  • Second, I have some experience in Aikido and hapkido arm locks and judo throws, but none in grappling and ground-fighting.
  • Third, I saw this really cool David Mamet film Red Belt, and thought Chiwetel Ejiofor made it look cool. (This may be the primary reason)
Whatever the reason, I walked into the studio, and did a class. Here are my first impressions:
  1. Great workout. The session lasted around 1 1/2 hours (a lot of classes in karate and taekwondo get cut down to 45 minutes or so). Note, this did not include stretching. The muscle groups which were sore afterwards were not the typical ones - neck was sore especially.
  2. Very different kind of workout. In the beginning, you do a lot of work in one spot - from your guard position, from the clinch, etc. But you're still dripping with sweat at the end.
  3. Very complementary to striking arts - whereas with taekwondo, everything stops at the clinch, that is where a lot begins with jiujitsu.
There's also a definite difference in aesthetic and profile of the participants in the two arts - the studio I went to was more like a boxing gym with some mats in it, and the participants were more like what you'd expect there. Very little formality - like a wrestling practice from what I can tell.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Annual Connecticut Taekwondo Competition

This year's Connecticut Open will be held in Shelton, CT. It should be a really good event - LaJust sparring gear will be featured.

For more info, click here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What Sportsmanship Doesn't Look Like...

Note to Self: If I lose the Bronze medal match, remember not to kick the referee in the face.

I have to say it is disappointing when a competitor in your martial art displays so little respect for it.

There really isn't any consolation here, but in wrestling and in boxing, there were also some terrible displays of sportsmanship (refusing a Bronze medal and biting...) from other countries, so I think it is safe to say that this is about the person, not the sport...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Korea Leads TKD Medal Count with 3 Golds; US Second

This year appears to be another good year for Korea - they have a chance for four Golds tomorrow, when they will compete in the Men's Heavyweight competition. The US has fielded its four fighters, so it has taken all the medals it will.

China will also field a fighter tomorrow, so it may overtake the US in the TKD medal count...

Medals for my Whole Family: Steven Lopez takes Welterweight Bronze

In one point decision over Azerbijiani fighter Rashad Ahmadov, Steven Lopez takes the welterweight bronze. Strangely enough, Chinese fighter Guo Zhu also won the bronze... The Gold was won by Iranian fighter Hadi Saei, and the Silver went to Italian Mauro Sarmiento.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lopez Takes Silver - Son (Korea) Wins Gold

It was an exciting match, decided in the last seconds of the third round, but Mark Lopez of the US fell to Korea's Son, 2-3. Another medal for the Lopez siblings - with Steven Lopez up tomorrow. He'll be the last competitor for Team USA.

Diana Lopez takes Bronze, Mark Lopez in Gold Final

The Turkish and Korean competitors are vying for the Gold in the finals...and the Korean, Lim, wins! One point game.