A Fighter's Heart: One man's journey through the world of by Sam Sheridan

By Sam Sheridan

It happened to him that he might eventually discover a long-held obsession: scuffling with. inside a yr, he used to be in Bangkok education with Thailand's maximum kickboxing champion and stepping throughout the ropes for his first expert bout. yet one struggle wasn't sufficient, and Sheridan got down to try himself on an epic trip into how and why we struggle, dealing with Olympic boxers, Brazilian jiu-jitsu stars, and supreme scuffling with champions.

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This makes the clinch vital for success in single unarmed combat. The Gracie family almost certainly learned the importance of the clinch from Maeda and incorporated it into their no-holds-barred fighting style, which eventually became modern MMA. Even though the Kodokan frowned upon Maeda’s MMA fighting exploits, the Kodokan recognized Maeda’s accomplishments in spreading judo across the globe as they promoted Maeda to sixth dan in 1929 and seventh dan in 1941 after his death. Sometimes called the “toughest man who ever lived,” he is said to have won more than two thousand professional fights in his career.

A good standing clinch can stop much of your opponent’s striking ability, and it gives you many options: striking from the clinch, standing submissions, takedowns to ground fighting, or disengaging to the free-movement phase to strike. Depending on the dominance of your standing clinch, your opponent has those options as well. The clinch is like a hinge that connects the other two phases of combat. Being proficient in the clinch gives you the ability to dictate where the fight will lead—to the free-movement phase or to the ground phase.

27 Moving forward puts your opponent on the defensive, so you can capitalize on his reactions. The best defense is a good offense. Stablemaster Naruto says focus on sumo basics, which include understanding the angle of the initial charge and keeping the arms tightly against the sides. If rikishi practice the basics thoroughly, they can apply them to more advanced techniques. This concept of keeping the arms tightly against the sides or closing the armpits is a common theme in Japanese martial arts.

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