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Tag: jiu-jitsu

On Rank, Resumes, and Arm Bars — The Simple Reason Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Still Matters in MMA


(The Gracies proved that BJJ is indispensable — not that it’s invincible. / Photo via Getty)

By Elias Cepeda

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in mixed martial arts has been on my mind a bit more than usual lately. A few weeks ago Benson Henderson walked to the ring wearing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi with his brand new black belt tied around it at the waist.

Minutes later he walked out, his black belt still in tow but without his UFC lightweight title belt after getting submitted by an arm bar from inside the full guard of Anthony Pettis. At the time, Pettis was ranked as a blue belt — the belt just above white in BJJ.

Not many weeks prior to that, Roger Gracie, the most dominant submission grappling competitor in decades, lost his UFC debut and then was promptly dropped from the organization. This past Saturday, Roger’s cousin Rolles – son of legendary Rolls Gracie – got knocked out in the second round of his WSOF 5 fight with Derrick Mehmen in tragically comic fashion.

Rolles got hit, the punch put him out on his feet and he spun around slowly before falling to the ground. It looked like the slapstick “Flair Flop” move that pro wrestler Ric Flair used to pull off after getting hit to put over his opponent. Three and a half years ago, of course, Rolles humiliated himself against Joey Beltran in his lone UFC fight after appearing to exhaust himself almost immediately.

Both recent Gracie losses brought about public questions of whether or not the Gracie family and Jiu Jitsu itself have become outdated in modern MMA. Henderson’s submission loss to Pettis could have been seen as a triumph of Jiu Jitsu technique but instead, some critics chose to question the validity and use of BJJ belt ranks.

What did Henderson’s black belt mean, exactly, if he could go out and get submitted by someone with a lower BJJ rank, who was more known for high-flying kicks than anything, and with such a basic move? The notions that Gracies losing fights and Henderson getting submitted somehow reflect negatively on Jiu Jitsu itself are, of course, silly.

MMA isn’t about magical styles and secrets solely in the possession of those with certain-colored pieces of clothing or particular surnames. It never has been.

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MMA Meme of the Day: Clark Gracie, Ridiculously Photogenic Jiu-Jitsu Guy


(The original image, via Deadspin.)

Meet Clark Gracie. The decorated BJJ blackbelt is the son of Carley Gracie, the master of the Clarkoplata (Crucifix Omoplata hybrid), and the owner of The Clark Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy in La Jolla, CA. He also happens to be a ridiculously photogenic guy, capable of making a blackbelt grappling match look like an Esquire Magazine photo-shoot. Even though this image has been around for a while now, the jokesters over at quickmeme have finally taken notice and created “Ridiculously Photogenic Jiu-Jitsu Guy” in his honor. We’ve compiled some of the best ones after the jump.

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MMA Fail of the Year Candidate: “Ultimate Armbar Defense” Instructor Chokes Himself Out


Damn it, Jon. Thumb UP! Props: The Phantom Knee

We’re not even one week into 2013, yet we already have a strong candidate for CagePotato.com’s coveted MMA Fail of the Year at the year-ending Potato Awards. And yes, “coveted” is the right word here – with all of the ugly tattoos, terrible t-shirts, goofy haircuts and general jackassery in this great sport, it’s a legitimate honor to be recognized for failing harder than everyone else around you. Last year, the award went to a guy who dared his opponent to knock him out seconds before getting knocked out. Following in his footsteps, this instructor is so confident that he has discovered the “ultimate” way to defend against an armbar that you should really be expecting his demise well before it plays out.

This guy’s “Ultimate Armbar Defense” isn’t exactly scientific; it involves grabbing your own gi collar and holding on for dear life. Don’t ask me how a jiu-jitsu purple belt didn’t realize that he was setting himself up for a textbook gi choke, but he didn’t, and the inevitable happens by the end of the video. My favorite part of the video is the very end, when he wakes up, remembers where he is, puffs his chest out and looks into the camera with manly, Ronda Rousey-esque confidence.

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[AUDIO] Renzo Gracie Explains How He Beat Up Muggers & Tweeted at The Same Time


(Renzo Gracie’s knuckles after beating up muggers. Out of the frame, Renzo Gracie absolutely beaming with a huge smile on his face)

The other day we told you about how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA legend Renzo Gracie managed to tweet about how he *ahem* defended himself from two muggers in Manhattan this week, at the same time as he was beating the snot out of defending himself from them. Well, The MMA After Hour got Renzo on the line for a short interview where Gracie goes in to detail of how, exactly, he came to beat up two thugs and why he was insulted that they even tried.

We’re not going to waste too much of your time with our copy here because Renzo has plenty to say himself (and we really can’t re-create the effect of his Brazilian accent in writing, and you know it adds a lot to the story, my friend). After the break you’ll find the full interview.

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Nick Diaz Gets an Opponent for May 12th Jiu-Jitsu Superfight and it’s Braulio F*cking Estima


(OK Nate, once the ballad starts, you’re gonna grab her hips and just kinda sway like this…)

Perhaps you recall that Jiu-Jitsu superfight Nick Diaz was scheduled to participate in while stepping out for a smoke break from his UFC career. It was to be held at the first annual World Jiu-Jitsu Expo in Long Beach, California on May 12th, against an opponent TBD. Though we had no clue as to who this “TBD” fellow would turn out to be, we already assumed that the match would be rife with Stockton Heybuddies, relentless taunting, and at least one insistence by Diaz that they both “stand up and settle this like men.”

How wrong we were, because it turns out that Diaz will be too busy trying not to get submitted to do much trash talking, as his opponent was announced earlier this morning, and it’s Braulio f*cking Estima. That’s 2009 ADCC double gold medalist, three time European champion, three time CBJJ champion, and five time Pan American champion Braulio Estima. If you consider yourself a fan of the ground game and live withing driving distance of Long Beach, you best be in attendance for this one.

Though Diaz earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Cesar Gracie back in 2007, you gotta imagine he’ll be the underdog heading into this one, as Estima’s list of BJJ credentials ranks him among the legends of the sport. The fact that Estima also took home a Superfight Championship at last year’s ADCC trials by defeating former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza only furthers this theory.

Familiarize yourself with Estima’s skills after the jump. 

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[VIDEO] Believe it or Not, Ben Henderson CAN Be Submitted


(Hey Donald, you let me know when you’re gonna stop armbarring me like my little sister. Sound good?) 

I did something terrible this morning, Potato Nation. After waking up with blood on my hands and a splitting hangover beneath an underpass I did not recognize, I was forced to stumble across five miles of snow covered wasteland, wearing only one shoe mind you, to make it home. I fired up my computer to find a video of newly crowned UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson competing in the 7th Arizona Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu International Open awaiting my viewership. In need of a pick me up, I watched it, figuring that there was no way in hell my boy “Smooth” would be submitted by this Daniel Grippaudo sumbitch, because, let’s be honest, Henderson CANNOT be submitted. We all know the first round anaconda loss to Rocky Johnson that soils his record was made up to prevent 155-pound grapplers from committing mass suicide. There is no “Rocky Johnson.” There never was.

Anyway, after watching the video that awaits you all after the jump, I proceeded to run to the nearest elementary school, steal the microphone from the principal, and inform those listening to the morning announcements that Santa was in fact a lie. Do I feel bad about it? Surely, but the point I was trying to make is simple: give up hope. The boundaries of life are disintegrating before our very eyes. Nothing is real anymore; Santa, your parents, Jesus, none of it. If it turns out that the following video is not, as I suspect, a complete fabrication, then I hold these truths to be self-evident.

Watch at your own risk.

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Josh Barnett Stays Busy With World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship Win


(Josh Barnett’s most recent pro wrestling outing, courtesy of his MySpace page. If you’re dying to see how the match ends, go here.)

He may still be a black sheep in the MMA family, but that doesn’t mean Josh Barnett is going to hop a Greyhound for parts unknown and never call you again, even if you might want it that way.  The  "Baby-Faced Assassin" surfaced at the World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championships in southern California this week long enough to win the "Ultra Heavyweight" (over 215 pounds) division with a judges’ decision over Bruno Paulista on Sunday.  Barnett crowed about the victory on his Twitter account, proclaiming "Catch Wrestling lives!", much to the chagrin of BJJ competitors like Pablo Popovitch, who told Graciemag.com before this event, "[W]e can’t let a guy who does catch wrestling win the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship."

Sorry, Pablo.  Guess Barnett never got that memo.  If you’re wondering what Barnett’s MMA future holds, apart from being the sport’s unsung savior, you should check out this video interview with Scott Coker where he says that Strikeforce has been in "loose contact" with Barnett, and once he works out his issues with the California State Athletic Commission, "maybe then we’ll be a little bit more interested."  You know.  If he works out those "issues."

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Video Break: The Grappling Hour

Man, all this talk about boxers doing MMA is almost enough to make a fella forget about the ground game.  We’ve got the cure for that problem: a bunch of goddamn grappling videos.  Up first, Fedor Emelianenko flings Gegard Mousasi around just for fun.  After the jump, Demian Maia‘s jiu-jitsu highlights are an indispensable part of any grappling examination, Shinya Aoki has a quick one against Marcelo Garcia, plus more.

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Dean Lister Proves You Can Go Home Again


(Worst Affliction t-shirt ever?  Or best Slash t-shirt ever?)

Following his dismal performance at UFC 92 and subsequent release from the UFC (at his request, which is like telling your boss you quit immediately after he’s discovered that you’ve been stealing), Dean Lister is headed back where he belongs: grappling tournaments.  Lister will be back at the Abu Dhabi’s and word has it that he’s angling for a move up in weight to take on Fedor Emelianenko, who’s expected to enter this year.

On one hand, it’s good to see Lister back in his element.  As great a submissions fighter as he is, he’s not much of an MMA fighter at this point.  He tried to pull guard on Yushin Okami for three rounds and got a chorus of boos for his trouble.  He then apologized to his fans while reminding us that he could kick all of our asses, just in case you were in any danger of feeling sympathy for him.

But Lister is a middleweight.  Fedor is a heavyweight.  Even if he weren’t also one of the best fighters on the planet, the weight difference is already a huge advantage.  But would it be pretty awesome to see Fedor in a pure grappling match against one of America’s best pure grapplers?  It would.  He tapped out his brother with no problem, but "The Boogeyman" has a significantly better grappling resume.  He is also free of blood-borne diseases (sorry, had to do it).

Regardless, a Fedor/Lister grappling match has the potential to get even the more casual MMA viewers slightly interested in the Abu Dhabi’s.  And that’s without the brutal violence of MMA, Bob Reilly.  What now?

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Monday Morning Video Wake-up: Super F’n UFC Bros., Quinn’s Mom + More

Above: MMA/video-game mashup artist lookoutawhale created this Dana White/Super Mario Bros tribute for a UG contest to win tickets to DW’s St. Patrick’s Day party in Boston, and it’s pretty Fuk’n amazing. If only dealing with your rivals was as simple as jumping on their heads.

Below: The more I watch Dan Quinn‘s videos, the more I’m convinced that he’s not a real person, but a highly trained actor playing a character named "Dan Quinn," and the whole YouTube video thing is just a brilliant guerilla marketing campaign for Starwest Botanicals. Because honestly, how can this person not be in on the joke? Yes, that’s his mom who comes by to bust Dan’s weed party at the 4:44 mark, and remind him that "that thing is still simmering." So yes, he lives with his mother. He also alludes to a knowledge about methamphetamine that rivals his knowledge about marijuana and stevia. Why are we not surprised?

After the jump: Some lucky dickhead teaches you how to reverse guard, with the help of two very sexy girls. The last shot = possibly NSFW, totally OMFG.

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