First a shout out to Melody from the Handler.
Today was fight day. We were loaded on buses at 1130 hours headed for Ariake Stadium. When we got there we were ushered in to the blue locker room which was a series of small, black curtain partitioned cubicles with tatami mats, water, sandwiches, and a live feed from the ring. This was followed by lots of waiting momentarily disrupted by pre-fight events such as a brief medical check, getting used to the ring, and an equipment check.
I also wrapped Dan's hands with a new variation of my MMA wrap. Essentially a 20 layer knuckle pad and a 10 wrap wrist support on which a single legal layer of tape was applied across the knuckles and then reinforced with strips applied lo longitudinally and then laterally. IMHO this resulted in not only a fist like tempered steel but an adequate grip surfac.
|At approximately 15:30 I started to warm-up Dan up with short (1 minute) rounds focusing on different reactive or power elements of the game. Reactions included covering or evasive defense, sprawling, and following a stunned opponent for the finish. Power rotations included kicks, knees, ground and pound from mount, knee on stomach, and guard, as well as knees from the side mount.|
At the time I did not quite realize I was demonstrating all my JokerjitsuTM training secrets in front of Renzo Gracie and Team Roger Gracie. I'm expecting a coaching job offer any day now (that or a dollar bill in my Sprawl shorts)
After we warmed up the fighter introduction was to start so we waited at the runway to the arena. Sengoku put on an awesome light show with flames and in-door fireworks so loud we were warned to shield our ears. After that we sat waiting in the bullpen, the second fight of the evening. You can see from the video that is a good fight. They traded some blows before Dan was taken down, he escaped from the Pyle's jiu-jitsu attack and place his wily opponent on the defense. Dan remained in good control for the rest of the round, until the end where he was caught in a triangle. It is heart wrenching to see such hard preparation end in defeat and as a corner and training partner I can only feel that in some way I failed my team mate.
My favorite bout of the evening was the Barnett v. Monson fight. These two look like characters from 300 but sweating and bleeding right in front us. They are also friends but that didn't slow them in trying to dispatch each other. The blows that these two traded would have felled oxen and yet they absorbed them repeatedly in their battle. They were more like big cats from the same pride, playing ferociously for blows and submissions.
Kawamura and Randleman prepare to engage
Roger Gracie and the Handler share a smile.