UFC 172 took place this past weekend (4.26.14) in Baltimore, Maryland. Headlining the main event of the evening was the Light Heavyweight Title Fight between Jones vs. Teixeira. Spoiler alert, Jon Jones retains the title at the 205lb class improving his record to 20-1. Jones dominated in every fight stat that was recorded, ie: total strikes, significant strikes, takedowns. Jones also dominated, in a stat that I didn’t know existed, control. Control, that is what lead me to write this article.
Kumi Kata, grip fighting. Kumi Kata is one of the most important elements of modern-day Judo and BJJ. Yet Kumi Kata is also being displayed in Mix Martial Art (MMA). In a review in the fight between Jones vs. Teixeira, the display of striking and strength is as expected for mma. What is less obvious, to the untrained spectator , is the grip fighting between fighters. Jones controlled Teixeira for most of the contest. Teixeira would fire off some shots, Jones would evade and tangle up Teixeira on the fence. The big difference was that Jones would immediately grip fight and gain control of Teixeira wrist. By Jones controlling Teixeira wrist, Teixeira could not hit Jones. By controlling Teixeira, Jones was able to dictate where and when Teixeira would move and impede his striking ability and at the time, decide when to hit Teixeira at free will and that he did.
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Kumi kata is used in the sport of judo. Judo is a martial art with the objective of throwing your opponent to ground. Kumi Kata is the central part of effectively overcoming your opponent by controlling the posture of your opponent. By getting a superior grip you would be able to execute your technique over your opponent. In the Nage No Kata, you perform fifteen technique. Each technique has a variation of a grip to complete the throw. The grips vary per individual due to physical differences but the goal is the same, to gain a superior control and dominate your opponent.
Grip fighting has become a big part in judo competitions. In the beginning day of judo, judokas would walk up to each other get their standard grip and begin the contest. In this match in Tokyo 1964 Nakatani (JPN) – Rasmelungon (THAI) notice both judokas approach each other openly get their grips and begin.
In Modern day judo, there is more grip fighting. A perfect display of Kumi Kata is displayed by Olympian Jimmy Pedro vs Joao Neto. In this match, notice immediately, both judokas defensively looking for a dominant grip before engaging in the match.
A good way to strengthening your grip is with the use of a kettlebell, but nothing can truly replicate grip fighting than actual training. The Point is grip fighting is a very important part of Judo, BJJ and MMA so add Kumi Kata into your training. That said, go train. As always Workout Drink be merry.
author: Angel Mercado
photographer: Angel Mercado