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Posts Tagged ‘America’

Martial Arts Styles Do Exist

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2015 at 10:22 am

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By Antonio Graceffo

Recently, I saw a Facebook video of a grappling competition, between a freestyle wrestler and a Brazilian Jujitsu practitioner. There are a lot of Youtube videos with titles like “Muay Thai vs. Kyokushin” or “Kung Fu vs. MMA” but what I liked about this particular video was that both practitioners were wearing the clothing appropriate to their art, which made them easily identifiable. The wrestler wore his singlet and wrestling shoes. The BJJ fighter wore a grappling shirt and shorts. The next thing that was special about this match up was that both men fought according to their distinctive styles. In this modern era of open grappling tournaments and MMA fights, most champion fighters are so well-rounded that the imprint of their original martial art is often barely visible.

The litmus test, for a fighter looking like his or her style, would be Ronda Rousey, who, in spite of being incredibly well-rounded, and in spite of having won her UFC 190 fight completely with striking, usually looks like a judoka. Watching her fights, it is generally clearly obvious that she comes from a world-class judo background. Lyoto Machida definitely owes much of his success to the fact that he fights like a karate man and both grapplers and strikers find it difficult to break inside of his unusual footwork. Another example would be Cung Le, whose san da background is evident in his MMA fights. But, when GSP defeated world-class wrestler Matt Hughes, did he really look like a kyokushin fighter? Or is there anything about Roy “Big Country” Nelson to suggest that his first martial art was kung fu?
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In this video matchup between the wrestler and the BJJ practitioner, the BJJ guy kept trying to pull guard, to take the fight to the ground, where he would have the advantage. The wrestler was clearly looking for, and got, the takedown, which is his strength. Once he engaged, the wrestler executed a suplex, followed by a high-crotch takedown. He slammed the BJJ guy so hard that the referee stopped the match.
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It was the comments posted on this video which caused me to write this article. “its not the name of the style… Its the practitioner”, “Jujutsu is wrestling, Judo – is wrestling”, “There are not ‘greco technique ‘ of ‘BJJ technique , ‘judo technique’ or ‘free style technique’ There are only ‘RIGHT TECHNIQUE’ and ‘WRONG’”.

Recently, I have heard a lot of people claiming that there are no martial arts styles, only “good technique” and “bad technique.” But this is simply not the case. Some techniques are similar across multiple styles, for example, a shoulder throw can be used in judo, shuai jiao, submission wrestling, or even san da. But other techniques are not. And if a particular style lacks a particular technique, the practitioners normally don’t drill the defense to that technique. Boxers, for example don’t practice sprawl, because there is no single or double leg takedown in boxing. Wrestlers don’t practice passing the guard, because that situation doesn’t exist in wrestling.
Styles definitely exist. And for that reason, when people wish to excel in mixed style events, like open grappling tournaments, or MMA fights, the best fighters tend to be complete fighters who train in multiple styles.

As anecdotal evidence proving the existence of styles, let me present the findings of my summer research. This summer, I travelled for three solid months training and filming Martial Arts Odyssey. My journey took me to Shanghai, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, New York, Singapore, and Johor Bahru. Along the way, I trained and/or filmed the following martial arts: san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, catch wrestling, sambo, submission wrestling, judo, boxing, and Brazilian jujitsu.

In san da training, we spent an hour catching kicks. Kick catching is not taught in Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, catch wrestling, submission wrestling, judo, boxing, or Brazilian jujitsu.

In Greco-Roman wrestling we were practicing dropping to one knee and executing a fireman’s carry (without touching the opponent’s leg). This method is not taught in san da, shuai jiao wrestling or boxing.

In freestyle wrestling we were working on cat’s cradle pin. This technique is not taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, or boxing.

In freestyle, we also worked on ankle-pick which is not done in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, judo, or boxing.

In shuai jiao wrestling we practiced jacket grabbing drills. These techniques are not taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, Kepap, catch wrestling, submission wrestling, boxing, or Brazilian jujitsu.

In kepap class the students were learning how to execute a knife attack. Offensive knife fighting is never taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, catch wrestling, boxing, sambo, submission wrestling, judo, or Brazilian jujitsu.

In Catch wrestling we were learning knee and ankle submissions. These techniques are forbidden, and thus not taught, in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, boxing, or judo.

In sambo we were learning knee compression submissions. These are not taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, judo, or boxing.

In submission wrestling we worked on turtle defense and reversing an opponent who was turttled up, so you could get the pin. Turtle position doesn’t exist in san da, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, or boxing.

In judo we learned how to use the opponent’s gi top to choke him. This is not practiced in: san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, catch wrestling, submission wrestling, or boxing.

In boxing training, my coach, Paddy Carson, was helping me improve the rhythm of my three-punch combinations. Punching isn’t taught in Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, catch wrestling, submission wrestling, judo, or Brazilian jujitsu.

At Brazilian jujitsu class we were learning spider guard. These skills are not taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, catch wrestling, or boxing.

Styles clearly exist. For this reason, to be a complete fighter, one must study multiple STYLES.

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of sport, writing his dissertation on comparative forms of Chinese wrestling. He is martial arts and adventure author living in Asia, the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.
The Monk from Brooklyn, the book which gave Antonio his name, and all of his other books, the book available at amazon.com. His book, Warrior Odyssey, chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia, including stories about Khmer and Vietnamese martial arts as well as the war in Burma and the Shan State Army, is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey
See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
Twitter
http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk
facebook
Brooklyn Monk fan page
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brooklyn-Monk/152520701445654?fref=ts
Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE
http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1
Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com
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Why do they need to believe in conspiracies?

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm

By Antonio Graceffo

Apparently, conspiracy theorists believe that the US government went bankrupt in 1933. Someone posted a comment to this effect on my Facebook page a few days back, so I decided to research around and find the actual events that were intentionally misinterpreted to create a doomsday story, whereby the richest country in the world has been bankrupt for the last 80-plus years and no one noticed. I Google searched the story but the only media that came up were all sorts of unreliable sites that specialized in conspiracy theory type stories. One would think that something as large as the bankruptcy of the US would have made it into The New York Times or the Financial Times. But somehow not only they, but also Aljazeera, BBC, Wall Street Journal…all missed reporting on this major event, or even referencing it in other stories.

My brother is a scientist and he taught me that when he meets a theory he has never heard of or seen before, he applies the laws of physics. If the theory violates any of the laws of physics, it doesn’t need to be further researched or tested, because it is impossible. Using the same logic, I applied the basic tests of a bankrupt country.

Test 1. Currency becomes worthless: Not only is the US Dollar the preferred hard currency in the world, but it is rated as 600 percent more desirable than the number-two, the Euro, for international exchange. Also, there is zero talk of scrapping the Dollar, while the Euro may be.

Test 2: The salaries of public servants are no longer being paid: Obviously, the army, post office, and other government employees have received their salaries regularly for the last 80 years. And public schools and services have remained open.

Test 3: Government banks fail: Not only did government banks not fail, but specifically in 1933, and during the entire depression, the US Post Office bank was the safest place to put your money. None of those depositors lost their money. And those accounts continued to pay interest, while other banks closed their doors.

Test 4: Infrastructure investment halts and public services grind to a standstill: The Depression was the time in American history when some of the largest infrastructure projects in history were undertaken. Obviously highways and other public infrastructure are still being repaired and built today.

Test 5: The country defaults on debt: The US government has NEVER defaulted on a bond, which is why US government savings bonds and other bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the US government are rated AAA and assessed to be riskless investments. Although, in 2011, certain rating agencies downgraded US Federal date to AA+ (Excellent), this is still not consistent with a bankrupt country.

Test 6: The country’s foreign debt becomes non-negotiable or decreases in value: Most of the world’s governments purchase US debt on the open market and use it to prop up their own smelly currencies. (Try doing that with North Korean debt)

I absolutely admit that I am not a macroeconomist. So, the above set of tests would be more of a back-of-the-envelope test, rather than an official means of evaluating if a country is bankrupt. So, you may still want to check with an economist. Having said that, let’s give it the final test, which I like to refer to as “the gut test.” Basically, what does your gut tell you? Does your gut tell you that, the country with one of the highest standards of living, with the lowest consumer price index, high wages, with the highest level of adult educational achievement (12 years), and low unemployment…yada, yada ….is bankrupt?

And my gut says “What are you, nuts?”

Having said all of this, the moron who posted this on my page was an American. Where does this self-loathing come from? It took me about ten minutes to write this treatise, which tells me either the people who believe these types of stories never invested 10 minutes in their belief or they are ignoring the economic reality that while it is not perfect, the US is not bankrupt. But the big question I throw out there is WHY? Why do these conspiracy morons need to believe things that are clearly not true?

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of sport, writing his dissertation on comparative forms of Chinese wrestling. He is martial arts and adventure author living in Asia, the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.
The Monk from Brooklyn, the book which gave Antonio his name, and all of his other books, the book available at amazon.com. His book, Warrior Odyssey, chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia, including stories about Khmer and Vietnamese martial arts as well as the war in Burma and the Shan State Army, is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey
See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
Twitter
http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk
facebook
Brooklyn Monk fan page
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brooklyn-Monk/152520701445654?fref=ts
Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE
http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1
Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

标题:残障人士可以是专业的战士

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2014 at 10:57 am

指导教师 戴国斌
博士生姓名 安东尼(Antonio Graceffo)
学号_1310104008___
联系Antonio_graceffo@hotmail.com

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号称“铁锤”的Matt Hamill是最为著名的残疾格斗士,他既是一名听障摔跤手,又是一名MMA的格斗士。Matt受其在残障社区的明星地位的激励,因此他想证明一个身患听力障碍的残疾人同样能够在职业体育圈里成为最为优秀的运动员。Matt Hamill说,我要证明给所有的人看我可以做到。(Mowl)
“全球100百万患有听力障碍的残疾人,在UFC中而我是唯一一个身患听力障碍的残疾人格斗士,每次在我打比赛的时候,那些身患听力障碍的同胞都会发邮件给我,我每天都会受到3000份的邮件”Matt Hamil. Matt1976年出生,他生下来就是聋子,他的父母是个朴实的农民,他们对待Matt像对待正常孩子一样,他们跟Matt说话,还让他在农场上工作。(BRAKOB)
“Matt的父母锻炼他像个正常孩子一样生活在那些正常孩子的周围”
因为他的父母,Matt Hamill学会了读唇语,而且讲的也很好。农场上的工作让他变得很强壮,之后他的祖父帮助他加入了摔跤队。起初,教练不想培养Matt,因为听力障碍交流很困难。(The Hammer). Hamill的教练不得不在小黑板上写技战术告诉Matt应该怎么做,很多时候会闹出笑话,Matt因为听不到训练结束的口令,他会继续很努力的训练,因此他的对手总是被挨打。并不知道这种做法已经结束,他会攻击他的队友。但教练后面意识到Matt可能会是一个冠军,他变的很高兴去训练Matt。
因为他从小在农场工作,他和他的朋友经常练习把农场上的牛按倒在地上。(TUF)

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因为他是一个摔跤冠军,他拿到了摔跤奖学金去美国普渡大学读书。但是因为听力上的障碍他上课无法理解老师的授课内容,学业变的很糟糕。他的父母为了让matt能够正常的接受教育,他们得知罗彻斯特理工学院有听力障碍教育课程,因此他们抵押自己的房子来支付matt的学费。在RIT他第一次接触到美国手语. 在RIT,Matt主修工程学,并且参加了摔跤队,他在学校的摔跤成绩是213胜,3负。(ZVRS)并且顺利毕业拿到了电子工程学的学位。Matt Hamill三次夺得NCAA第三级联赛摔跤的全国冠军,在2011年的听障奥林匹克运动会,他还获得了古典摔跤的银牌和自由摔跤的金牌。
Matt是在一家酒吧的保镖。有一次两个美式足球运动员打起架,Matt轻易的把他们扯开。那些酒吧现场的人看到那一幕建议他应该参加终极格斗锦标赛(UFC),它是全球最大的自由搏击组织。(ZVRS)在UFC,Matt Hamill有一个非常成功的MMA格斗生涯。迄今为止,号称“铁锤”的MattHamill是唯一一个站在UFC八角形擂台上的患有听障的格斗士(BRAKOB ) 当Matt在格斗的时候,他听不到教练给他的指导,在我上拳击台只前,我只专注我比赛的战术,我所有的注意力都集中在对手身上,然后把我的战术落实到对手身上,但是这是一个无奈之举。”(Whittaker)
他的教练说:“对我来说,因为他的听力障碍要尝试跟他交流感觉这是最为无助的感觉之一。但是在比赛过程中,节奏是很快的根本就来不及交流,所以都是他自己站在擂台上完全依靠自己来比赛的,那种感觉就像你眼睁睁的看一个人溺水身亡”。 (Deafreview)
“UFC 终极格斗士号称“铁锤”的MattHamill尽管出生就是个聋子但是他没有让他的残疾阻碍他的梦想。”(Whittaker) Matt Hamill的教练Duff Holmes说在MMA那些有毒瘾人群中部分人获得成功是受到的听障人群的激励。Matt他是听障人群里的英雄,他很看重听障人群对他的支持。

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Sunny是一名听障泰拳格斗士。他是来自马来西亚的一个小岛的少数民族。Sunny的教练Alvin Lim他是我的好朋友,他让队中的所有的泰拳格斗士都学习手语。Alvin为了让其他泰拳格斗士能够和sunny正常的交流他把手语课程内容写在武术馆的一块白板上让其他队员学习。Sunny在一个晚上拿到了他的第一个MMA的冠军,马来西亚的听障协会也到现场观看了他的比赛,每个人都为他感到骄傲。有一个过来观看比赛的听障人士他讲到,我们来到这里就是为了证明听障人群同样能够像正常的马来西亚人一样参与到各种生活事务中去” 他说,“我想向世界证明了聋人可以做任何事情。”
我在柬埔寨的拳击教练Paddy Carson,他已经教导我十年了。他教授我职业拳击和MMA格斗技术。60岁高龄的Paddy他仍然上拳击台每天教我训练,但是之后因为他身患癌症,他的腿被截肢了换上假肢。他康复了以后,Paddy继续做我的教练,他每天站在拳击台上教我训练。当他生气时,他仍然会用他的假肢踢我的屁股。在Paddy的腿还没有截肢之前,他说,年轻人总是软弱和懒惰。现在,只有一只腿的他仍然比其他的年轻人要强壮的多,这一点我为我的教练感到自豪。

老师问我们,为什么是残疾人体育教育是重要的?
1. 为了让残障人士知道,他们也可以实现自己的梦想
“我是个聋子但是我并不会为此伤心。我知道除了听力障碍我一定有别的天赋,虽然我不知道但是我对现在的我很满意”( Deaf Review)

2. 第二个原因,为什么残疾人运动比赛是重要的,因为比赛可以他们感受到自豪感

一个叫EricWeihenmayer的盲人成功征服珠穆朗玛峰
号称“铁锤”的MattHamill获得了摔跤冠军和UFC格斗士
来自马来西亚的Sunny是一名少数民族的聋子,但是他却成为了一名职业格斗士。
只有一条腿已经60岁高龄的Paddy Carson,他仍然战斗在一线的职业拳击教练席上。

有“铁锤”之称的终极格斗士Matt Hamill天生就是聋子但是他却没有让残疾阻碍他的梦想(惠特克)
3. 第三个原因是残疾人体育比赛的重要性在于这些人可以激励我们

参考书目
BRAKOB , A Matt Hamill fighting in silence, athleatslivehere.com, Mar , 2013
Deafreview staff, Hammer 2.0: Matt Hamill Coming Out of Retirement at UFC 152,deafreview, Sept, 2012
The Hammer, Film Harvest, Fifth Year Productions, TapouT Films, October, 2011
Mindenhall, C “Hamill an inspiration for deaf community”, ESPN Mixed Martial Arts, May, 2011
Mowl, A Inside the Cage With Matt Hamill, deafnation, 2011
TUF, The Ultimate Fighter, Season 3
Whittaker, G The Franchise Exclusive Interview: Matt Hamill, MMA HANGOVER, Feb, 2009
ZVRS: Exclusive Interview With Matt Hamill, Deaf YouVideo

The Scars of Driver’s Ed

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2014 at 2:48 am

By Antonio Graceffo

Now that I am getting my PhD in education, I am reliving my own school days, thinking just how absurd damaging they were.
I remember we took driver’s-ed in eighth grade, in the days before technology. We actually had a driving simulator room in our school. It consisted of rows of numbered student desks with dashboards and steering wheels on them. The teacher sat in the back, at a control panel, next to a movie projector. The projector showed a first person driving film on a screen at the front of the room. A voice on the film would say things like, “At the corner, turn left.” At which point, you were supposed to signal, slow down, and turn the wheel. Occasionally, random things would happen, like a ball would roll out in the street in front of us, and we would be expected to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting the child who came out to retrieve it. Allegedly, the teacher could look at the control panel and know who used their signal or their break, and would give us a score. Of course, this was all in the days before computers. I mean, computers existed, but they couldn’t actually do anything. So, this machine never worked right.
At the time, I believed that it was my school that had the problem. I thought maybe our school’s machine was broken and in need of repair. Looking back, I imagine it was more a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes. I don’t think this machine worked ANYWHERE, but schools paid a lot of money for it, so they couldn’t admit that they had been ripped off. Most of us ignored the movie and just spun the steering wheel in a 360 and made car noises, “brrrroom.” In spite of this thing being useless, my teacher would still bring us there, every week. And he would still give us a score, although he couldn’t see what we were doing. Occasionally, he would call out, “Number thirty-seven, slow it down. Number eighteen you forgot to signal.”
Because the visual was an old fashioned movie projector, the lights had to be off. So the teacher couldn’t see that number thirty-seven was unoccupied, or that number eighteen was making out with number four. Failing that class scarred me so deeply, that to this day, I don’t enjoy driving in dark classrooms.
Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of sport, writing his dissertation on comparative forms of Chinese wrestling. He is martial arts and adventure author living in Asia, the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.
Warrior Odyssey, the book chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia is available at amazon.com. The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey
See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
Twitter
http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk
facebook
Brooklyn Monk fan page
Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE
http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1
Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com