Showing posts with label japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label japan. Show all posts

December 25, 2014

Kron Gracie's MMA Debut

Kron Gracie (son of Rickson) made his MMA debut last week at the Real 1 FC in Japan.  A solid first showing nailing the armbar very quickly, but I look forward to seeing Kron face some serious competition:


April 22, 2014

Samurai: Beyond the Sword - Review of the Samurai Exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts

For the second time this year (recall the review I did on the Portland Art Museum's exhibit "Samurai") we have had the luck to get wind of rare collections in cities we were visiting.  Just last week the Detroit Institute of Arts museum was the latest stop where the "Samurai: Beyond the Sword" blew away all expectations. 

Meant to illustrate the everyday life of a Samurai, the exhibit was encompassing without being redundant and boring.  Compared to the armor centered focus in Portland, BTS offered a few pieces of everything from armor, to weapons, to tea cups, and wood blocks.  Security was obnoxiously overbearing so I was only able to sneak a few shots of the lethally stunning blades from three to five hundred years ago, but as you can see they were amazing.  Razor sharp even after being dormant for generations, yet the craftsmanship is better than most you will find even today.

A number of pieces could be talked about but the one item my mind keeps floating back to is an amazingly well kept quiver with half a dozen arrows.  The shafts were straighter than any lathe could mill.  The arrow heads of various size carried an aire of death about them even through glass as if I could feel how heavy they were both in weight and intent.  Feathers lined the shaft just forward of the notch.  Seemingly perfect in their upright attention.


I personally love these types of exhibits.  A connection to a past that we are quickly losing.  A legacy where one may not agree with the tendencies of war, but no one can question the virtues of the men and women of the Samurai.  I walk away with a greater appreciation of all craftsmen and artisans.  Armor is functional.  Swords, axes, knives are functional tools.  People like Jeff Crowner are modern day bladesmiths who make functional art and should be celebrated as such.  I am reminded of all the "small" people who make every day livable in our country, and I am reminded that it is ok to pay a few more bucks for something made but someone local.  Why?  Because they matter more than a factory does in China.

If you get the chance to visit before June 1st you certainly will not be disappointed, and the quality of the naginata and katana blades is worth the $16 entry fee.

Click here for more info on Samurai: Beyond the Sword. 

January 28, 2014

Hakuho's Dominant Performance at January 2014 Basho

Hakuho is one of my favorite Sumo wrestlers of all time, and this recent January 2014 basho illustrates exactly why I love to watch him and Sumo in general.

First and foremost check out this AMAZING inside knee prop (Uchimuso) he nails on Kotoshogiku.  This is an incredibly rare throw all set up off of Kotoshogiku over committing his weight into Hakuho:



So that was day 14, where day 15 has yokozuna Hakuho (14-0) taking on Kakuryu (13-1).  IF Hakuho wins it will be his 28th Emperors Cup.



SPOILER ALERT.... So when you have a tied record on day 15 of a basho, it forces the two wrestlers into a sudden death playoff.  What better timing then a winner takes all end to the January basho just before the American superbowl!?  If Kakuryu wins it will be his first Emperors Cup:





November 25, 2013

Gui Mendes (Art of Jiu Jitsu): Sportsmanship, Class & Bullying

Though this debate is over a week old, I must take opportunity to use my blog and put Gui Mendes on blast for his "performance" last week at the 2013 Rickson Cup in Japan.  Fighting my friend and local (to the Pac NW) instructor Nate Adamson of Seaside BJJ, Gui Mendes decided to play the role of douche-waffle by running up the score before submitting him in what I can only construe as an attempt to stroke his ego and embarrass Nathan. This was Nate's first competition at black belt.

I have seen the Mendes boys, gym name is Art of Jiu Jitsu, throw fits at referee's for opponents with poor sportsmanship many a time, yet when the table is turned they seem rather comfortable filling the roll of bully.  What?  Too strong of a word?  Help me discern the difference with this video?  I know Nathan personally and I know that he is the first to admit when he is out skilled and he is one of the most humble fighters on the mat, so he has been kind in his approach to all this.  But the reality is Gui had plenty of opportunities to submit Nate, and all he did was watch the scorecard (literally watch him look at the score every 30 seconds!) and deliberately run up the numbers on his opponent, skipping over opportunities to submit him, and even purposefully allowing Nathan to re-guard just so Gui could pass and get the points again!  These are the actions of a bully! 

For parents researching Art of Jiu Jitsu (AOJ) for their children I hope you take a look at this video below and ask yourself if this is the individual you want teaching your kids BJJ?  Is this the level / lack of sportsmanship & class you wish to pay to be ingrained in your children? 

For Gui... grow up and act like the black belt tied around your waist means something other then the right to bully fellow competitors regardless of skill level!  



Shame on you Gui Mendes!  Shame on you! 
Jake