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вторник, 16 марта 2010 г.

Shinya Aoki Phenomenon

Shinya Aoki is a grappling phenomenon in mixed martial arts. He is the first guy to carry out the Gogoplata submission successfully in an MMA competition. He is credited by Eddie Bravo it be the only MMA star to be able to successfully use the "Rubber Guard". He is the Dream Lightweight Champion but relies almost entirely on his judo/wrestling/bjj in order to overcome his opponents rather than focusing on being a well-rounded fighter like his UFC counterpart are (Anderson Silva/GSP/BJ Penn/Machida).

Aoki is a blackbelt both in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and a top level guy in both. He has won many smaller tournaments both in Judo and grappling but clearly had a harder time competing at the top level in ADCC. Clearly his style relies on his size and of course grappling with Roger Gracie showed how extreme the size difference was. (Roger Gracie easily overcame and submitted Aoki in the ADCC Absolute category)

His most recent performance has been in Dynamite!! on New Years eve and the performance he delivered against the lightweight Sengoku champion is more than impressive. Check out the video below.

This technique (hammer lock) I really learn't myself in Judo a few years back and have used it ever since with moderate success. I have always used it as a technique when you are passing the guard. It creates an element of surprise for most bjj and judo players as they are normally not used to defending against this move. Once you have secured the hand under the back, it is very difficult to get out unless you power through it and convince the guy on top that it is not worthwhile to keep the hold any longer. If you do manage to get this move and secure the hand and the guy fails to defend, it can be quite useful for control in my opinion and Shinya really seems to have taken it to another level. Great performance.

Now he is set to fight in Strikeforce in April against his long time rival Gilbert Melendez who has recently taken the Strikeforce Lightweight title from Josh Thomson. It will no doubt be once again a battle of "well-rounded fighter" vs "grappling freak" and no one can really say what will happen. This fight has been long overdue and the winner is surely the #1-#2 fighter in the world today. (and of course should take on BJ Penn)

If Shinya Aoki wins, he together with Kazushi Sakuraba go into the hall of fame of skilled grapplers making it in MMA without much striking game along with the likes of Royce Gracie. Amazing! All I can say.

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