Tag Archives: Strikeforce

Women’s Judo: From Olympic Bronze To MMA World Champion And What’s Next For Olympic Gold Medal Winner?

I will be absolutely honest with you, again.
I have not been watching much Olympic Game coverage this time around, simply because my schedule has been posing other priorities lately.
But there is something on my mind that I have to post about and it is Olympic-related.

Four years ago at the Beijing Olympic Games an American judoka won the first Olympic medal ever for the U.S. judo team. It was the bronze medal and as we all know by now that definitely means a spot in the limelight.
This year at the London Games we experienced another first. An American judoka who took the top spot and won the first Olympic gold medal ever for American judo.

So, who are we talking about here?

4th degree judo black belt, Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, and currently ranked the world’s #1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter can look back on a stellar judo career which has lifted her to her current MMA ranking and celebrity-like status.
As a 17-year-old, Ronda was the youngest judoka at the 2004 Athens Olympics and that same year she became the World Junior Judo Champion in Budapest, Hungary.
In 2006, she won both Judo World Cop in Birmingham, England and the bronze medal at the World Junior Championships.
A year later, Ronda was able to attain the silver medal at the World Judo Championships and follow up with a bronze medla at the 2007 Pan Am Games.
Two years after winning Olympic bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, Ronda officially entered the MMA arena and has been wreaking havoc on her opponents, usually ending their bouts by submission via Ronda’s trademark armbar.
It looks something like this in one take:

Ronda’s current professional Strikeforce MMA record is 5-0 and she is scheduled to fight Sarah Kaufman on August 18, 2012 who will be dealing with this kind of stuff. By the way, in case you’re not a friend of the background music,
simply turn down the volume, like I did.

But wait, there’s more!

Just last week, on August 2, 2012, fellow American Kayla Harrison won Olympic gold at this year’s Olympic Games in the -78 kg category. She had to overcome some major obstacles during the previous years to achieve her Olympic greatness.
Before she started training with 4-time judo Olympian, Jimmy Pedro in Wakefield, Massachusetts, who by the way trained Ronda Rousey, before she moved the West Coast, where she is now training under Gene “Judo’Lebell and
and Armenian grappling greats such as Gokor Chivichyan and Edmond Tarverdyan, Kayla Harrison Harrison took up judo at the age of six, having been introduced to the sport by her mother who was a black belt.
She began being trained by coach Daniel Doyle, and won two national championships by the age of 15. However, during that period Doyle was abusing Harrison, who reported it to another judoka, who in turn told Harrison’s mother.
She subsequentally reported this to the police. Doyle was convicted and sentenced to a ten-year prison term.[2] A month after the abuse was revealed, she moved away from her home. (Source: wikipedia).

In 2010, Kayla became World Judo Champion in Tokyo, Japan and the following year 2011 she won the bronze medal at the World Championships in Paris, France.
At the Panamerican Games in 2010 and 2011, Kayla won first bronze and later gold!
One could say that this development has cemented here standings in her current category of -78 kg and has helped her attained Olympic glory by winning the 2012 gold medal.

So, what’s next for Kayla Harrison? Will she follow Ronda Rousey and possibly enter the world of mixed martial arts?
Her grappling skills and her groundwork certainly give her an excellent starting position.

Take a look at what Kayla Harrison is capable of:

Cung Le And The Chinese Fighting Art Of Sanshou

Just recently I heard about a Chinese fighting art ….. on the tennis court!

As I was talking with a team mate, I learned from him that he had been a practitioner of a style  I had briefly heard about years back, but I never really looked into any deeper.

Until today.

Originated in China the style is called Sanshou (free hand) and at times Sanda (free fighting).

It is both a self-defense system and a combat sport.

Sanshou combines a number of  extremely vital and effective elements such as kicking, punching, throwing, grappling and applying joint locks.

One of Sanshou’s special emphasis is the so-called kick-catch, whereby one person throws a kick and the other person catches the kick and then trips the other person’s leg they are standing on.

Thinking about it, that’s what we even practiced way back in my Shotokan karate days. I just made that connection while writing this.

Sanshou as a sport is regulated by a bunch of different rules depending on amateur or professional status and also on the location of where the fights take place like China or the U.S.

Among all the successful and very skilled Sanshou fighters, one practitioner has really stood out for me during the years and he has without a doubt made a name for himself. He is the Vietnamese American kickboxer, mixed martial artist and actor, simply known as Cung Le from San Jose, California.

Cung Le has won too many titles and championships to list here, but I will mention that he won the Strikeforce Middleweight World Championship by beating legendary mixed martial arts champion Frank Shamrock about 2 years ago. Cung Le actually broke his opponent’s arm by executing devasting kicks during their fight.

Cung Le has been actively pursuing his career on the Big Screen and was awarded a role in Bodyguards And Assassins starring Donnie Yen which was released last December.

I found a video clip that I think you will enjoy if you like action-filled fight scenes.      Warning: It can be a little rough and tough at times.