Saturday, 22 November 2014

Update (22/11/14) - Polybius, Jean Machado, Interviews & Jordon Schultz!

This is the first update post on the weekend, and I hope to stick with this format as it seems to fit my life a lot better.

Yesterday, you probably were a little surprised about what you saw from my blog. It's kind of funny, but I didn't actually plan to write about Polybius. I've mentioned in a few previous update posts that I was going to do a look back at my teenage years because I've just turned 20 years old and closed the chapter which is my teenage years. 

Anyway, whilst writing that, I didn't feel that it would come across the way I would want it to or it wouldn’t be worth reading. Instead of this, I decided to write about Polybius which happens to be one of my most favourite stories. I have to say that it was probably the most enjoyable blog post I have ever written. It took a little over three hours to write, but I loved every second of it. I'm pleased to know that lots of you enjoyed it and sometime in the near future I hope to write similar posts. If you didn't get the chance to read it, you can find it HERE.

In the last update post, I talked about my interview with Jean Machado. Well, everything is going well with that and I’m finishing up the questions as we speak. I also touched on an interview with Five Grappling president, Dayan Henson. There's no news on that currently as they are not really active with their Facebook account, so it may take a while before I receive a reply.

Also, I mentioned last time how Jordon Schultz has left BJJ. For those of you who aren't familiar with Jordon, he is a two time world champion (2010 purple lightweight and 2011 brown lightweight) and at one point was probably one of the best brown belts in the world. Over the last few years, he's been in the BJJ news about leaving alliance and the Lloyd Irvin rape scandal, and as a result hasn't been getting the results he used to. In early 2014, he was promoted to black belt by André Galvão and quit BJJ in the last few months. 

Honestly, I find that really sad. How can a two time world champion, who has put so much time and effort into this sport just quit and move on with life? I'm a big fan of Jordon and I love his style of Jiu-Jitsu, I feel it’s very similar to mine. I asked to do an interview with him but he declined and we might work together on something in the future, but at the moment that doesn't look promising. With his permission, I will hopefully write something about him and share some of his best matches. I will even ask him if I can feature him in a Match of the Week episode. 

If you would like to see the extreme talent Jordon has, then take a look at his highlight video below:

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE

That's all I have to say this week. Some really exciting stuff to come soon! Hopefully, this new schedule will be more beneficial in me creating more exciting content.

Catch you later,

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Polybius - The Video Game of Death

Polybius is an arcade video game from 1981 which is said to give players a variety of psychological side effects. The game supposedly gave players amnesia, insomnia, nightmares and even caused some people to commit suicide. Yes, you heard that correctly. Apparently, the game could drive people to commit suicide.

Did this game really exist? At the moment, there is no such evidence to suggest that this game ever existed. It is seen to be nothing more than an urban legend. But yet, some claim to have played the game and few have said to be involved in its development. Let’s look at the story in more detail.

It is said that Polybius started to appear in a few isolated video game arcades across Portland, Oregon in 1981. The type of game is somewhat disputed, some say the game was a space shooter similar to Tempest (a popular space shooter developed by Atari) or a puzzle game which involved mazes and problem solving. Although the game caused side effects in players, it was said to be extremely popular, and caused players to be almost addicted to it. It started to turn into a craze and people would queue for hours just to play. Sometimes people would even start arguments or fights over who had the next turn to play.

Every few days, the infamous men in black would show up at the arcades (they always seem to crop up in every conspiracy theory/weird story) and collect data from the machine. This data allegedly showed what psychological side effects the game had on players. In the long term, Polybius was said to cause people to stop playing video games and even cause some to become anti-gaming activists.

Apparently, the game was developed by a company called "Sinneslöschen" which if translated into English means "sense delete" or "sensory deprivation".

Approximately, only a month after the game was released in the arcades, the game was taken away, never to be seen again. Still to this day, no one has discovered a genuine Polybius machine. If you search the internet, you will find home built machines or forgeries, but nothing more. A few people have said to have found a machine, but these have never been proven to be true.

Today, people have created reproductions of what the game allegedly looked like, and you can even download some of them to play for yourself. 

Okay, so that's the story, now let’s look at some facts.

Do people get side effects from playing video games? Yes, some people experience nausea and headaches whilst playing video games for a long period of time. Also, some people who suffer with photosensitive epilepsy can have seizures when exposed to certain light patterns. However, these side effects are far from causing people to commit suicide. 

In 1981, an East German company called VEB Polytechnik created an arcade game called "Poly Play". The game was only released in East Germany and the exact number created is unknown, but very few exist today. It consisted of a total of eight different games, including an imitation of Pac-Man.

A Poly Play arcade machine

The game shares a very similar name to Polybius and was created by a German company, much like the apparent creator of Polybius, Sinneslöschen. Most people assume this is what the Polybius legend is based off. 

Also, the game is associated with the space shooter, Tempest. Why? Well, the prototype version of Tempest caused some people to have epileptic seizures whilst playing the game. 

Some people believe that Polybius was a US government mind control test, and they wanted to see how the game would influence people. But, has the US government ever carried out mind control experiments and projects? Yes, and on more than one occasion.

I'm sure most of you have heard of Project MKULTRA. This project was conducted by the CIA, and consisted of drug induced mind control experiments, typically using LSD and was carried out throughout the US in the 1950's.

Another project, and probably the most disturbing one, was called Project ARTICHOKE. Some of you might have heard of the film, The Manchurian Candidate. In the movie, a US soldier is turned into an unwilling assassin by using hypnosis and drugs. The soldier then has no prior knowledge of his killing. He turns into an assassin by seeing a queen of hearts playing card and once the killing is completed, he has no recognition of it.  

But, in short, the US did attempt to create a real Manchurian candidate. However, there is no evidence to suggest that they were ever successful. The goal of this project was to create an unwilling assassin and once triggered by a word, symbol or other stimulus would attempt to kill his/her designated target. Sounds crazy, right? But it did happen.

Getting back on track, let’s look at when this legend started. It started to circulate the internet in the early 2000's and at this time was the first most people had ever heard of the game. If the game really did exist, nobody seemed to mention it for over 20 years. That seems a little strange to me.

Did Polybius ever exist? Or is it just merely an urban legend? Some people don't think so, but most see it as a myth. Unless somebody finds a working machine or somebody provides adequate evidence, we may never know the answer to that question.

I hope you guys enjoyed this article! I know it’s something a little different from me, but I hope you were intrigued by what you read and learnt something new in the process. This is simply a one off thing and normal Jiu-Jitsu related posts will continue in the next few days.

Catch you later,

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Monday, 17 November 2014

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 17 - André Galvão vs. Clark Gracie - 2011 Abu Dhabi Pro Trails

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

Welcome to another edition of Match of the Week. This week’s match is André Galvão vs. Clark Gracie from the 2011 Abu Dhabi Pro Trails which took place on March 6, 2011 in San Diego, California. 

André Galvão is a black belt under Luis Dagmar (commonly known as "Careca") and fights for Team Atos. Previously, André was part of the TT Team, led by Jiu-Jitsu legends, Fernando Tererê and Eduardo Telles. He would later go on to be one of the founding members of Team Atos, who are currently one of the best Jiu-Jitsu teams in the world today. As of now, André is one of the best black belts in the world and the coach to some of best American black belts, such as Keenan Cornelius and JT Torres. 

André has achieved a lot in his nine years in the black belt division. He is nine time Pan American Champion (2014 weight & absolute, 2013, 2011, 2008 weight & absolute, 2006, 2005 weight & absolute), a three time WPJJ (2014, 2013, 2012) and ADCC Champion (2011 weight & absolute, 2013 superfight), and a two time World Champion (2008, 2005).

For the most part, André is a top player. Every now and again you will see him play guard, but 95% of the time, he will play on top. A lot of the time, André will start off the match with some sort of throw where he can transition to a dominant position, which in most cases is the back. From there, he looks to set up a variety of collar chokes.

André Galvão

Clark Gracie is a black belt under his father, Carley Gracie who is 9th degree red belt and son of Carlos Gracie. In recent years, Clark has been the only member of the Gracie family to compete in the black belt division. In 2013, he proved that he is one of the very best in the middleweight division by winning the Pan American Championship by defeating Marcelo "Lapela" Mafra in the final by his signature choke from the omoplata. 

Clark is a three time American National Champion (2010 black, 2006 purple, 2005 blue), and a one-time Pan American (2013 black), World NoGi (2009 brown), New York Open (2010 brown) and American National NoGi Champion (2009 brown). He is also a World NoGi silver medallist (2012 black), and a World (2011 black), Pan American (2012, 2011 black), and European (2012 black) bronze medallist.

Clark's fast and exciting guard game make him a fan favourite at competitions. One move which Clark is notorious for is his omoplata. Very few people utilise this move as well as Clark does. Other than this, Clark has an excellent open guard and uses it to great effect in order to set up his signature omopltatas.

Clark Gracie

Unsurprisingly, for the entirety of this match, André is on top, and Clark is on the bottom. In this match, both of their games almost seem to neutralise each other. André tries to work some good passes but Clark's tricky guard prevents any of them from being completed. Obviously, you also get to see some lovely omoplata attacks from Clark as well. In my opinion, I disagree with the outcome of the match. It was a super close match, but I still think it was wrong. Let me know if you disagree. 

The video of the match can be found below. I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Update (12/11/14) - Format Changes, Interview with Jean Machado and Five Grappling

From now on, there's going to be a slight change in format. I think it would be better if I do these update posts on the weekend, and reserve this slot for something else which will be better for the growth of my blog. I think this way I'll be able to create more content on a weekly basis. This will be the last update post on a Wednesday. 

Anyway, moving swiftly on...

Today is the last day of me being a teenager. I've really enjoyed my teenage years, but I'm sure there will be greater things to come soon. As I mentioned previously, I will do a kind of look back post about my teenage years within the next week.

I've managed myself to get another interview! I'm happy to announce I have an interview with Jean Machado. You'll probably know Jean from his YouTube channel, LiveTheMachLife. I really like his channel and I think it's great to see him turning Jiu-Jitsu into an alternative form of entertainment. As we speak I'm writing the questions, and hopefully that will be released soon.

I'm also hoping to get an interview with Dayan Henson, who is the CEO of Five Grappling. If I manage to get the interview, it will be slightly shorter than normal, and hopefully I can make shorter style interviews on a more regular basis compared to my more detailed ones. 

That’s pretty much it for this week. The next update post will be published next weekend.

Exciting things to come!

Catch you later, 

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Monday, 10 November 2014

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 16 - Jackson Sousa vs. Paulo Miyao - 2012 NoGi Brazilian Nationals

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

On this week’s edition of Match of the Week, the match I'm sharing with you is Jackson Sousa vs. Paulo Miyao from the brown belt absolute semi-finals of the 2012 NoGi Brazilian Nationals.  

Jackson Sousa is a black belt under Ricardo Vieira and fights for team Checkmat. Today, Jackson is one of Jiu-Jitsu's rising stars, but he remained out of the spotlight for many years due to having issues obtaining a US visa. This meant he couldn't compete in many major IBJJF tournaments such as the Worlds, NoGi Worlds and Pan Ams. However, in 2013 he received his visa and went on to become a world champion proving that he was one of best competitors of the new generation. 

Jackson is a six time Brazilian National NoGi Champion (2012 brown weight & absolute, 2011 brown weight & absolute, 2010 brown, 2009 purple), a three time European Champion (2014 brown, 2013 brown, 2012 brown), a two time South American (2011 brown, 2010 brown), and Brazilian National Champion (2012 brown, 2010 purple), and a one time World (2013 brown), World NoGi (2013 black), IBJJF Pro League (2013), Pan American NoGi Champion (2014 black absolute). 

Jackson is known for one thing in particular, and that is his guard passing. He is definitely one of the best guard passers in the world today. For such a big guy, Jackson is very light on his feet. In particular, he seems to favour toreando style guard passing, but you also seem him use the double under pass quite frequently throughout his matches. However, in recent competition you're seeing a lot more guard work from Sousa which is quite exciting to watch. 

Jackson Sousa

 If you follow Jiu-Jitsu, I'm pretty sure you would have heard of Paulo Miyao. Him and his brother, João (typically referred to as the Miyao brothers) have been phenoms in the Jiu-Jitsu world since blue belt. They have virtually won every major title at the lower belts and been on the podium of every absolute division.

Paulo is known for his intense rivalry with Keenan Cornelius. He suffered multiple consecutive losses against Cornelius throughout the purple and brown belt level before finally defeating him in the absolute final of the 2013 World Championships. 

Paulo is a four time World (2013 brown weight & absolute, 2012 purple, 2011 purple) and Brazilian National Champion (2014 black, 2013 brown weight & absolute, 2012 purple), a three time Pan American Champion (2014 black, 2013 brown, 2012 purple), and a one-time European (2013 brown) and Brazilian National NoGi Champion (2012 brown). 

The one thing Paulo is known for is his berimbolo. He literally uses it in all of his matches. He also utilises many other "modern" Jiu-Jitsu techniques such as the 50/50 guard and reverse de la riva. In his matches, his main objective is to somehow take his opponents back using his slick guard skills. He is known for his nearly impassable guard. 

Paulo Miyao

In this match, Jackson tries to work some of signature passes, but the phenomenal guard work of Miyao neutralises the majority of them. You get to see some beautiful technical guard work from Miyao, however. He attempts multiple berimbolo and back take attempts and gets near with some, but Sousa does a tremendous job of defending. The outcome of this match may surprise you, and I think if it was in the Gi, it would perhaps be a different story. 

The video of the match can be found below. I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Update (05/11/14) - Polaris Jiu-Jitsu Invitational, Bear from Shoyoroll, Jordon Schultz, Jimmy Harbison, Meditation & More!

It's been a little while...

I took two weeks off from blogging just to recharge my batteries. I'll be honest and say for a few weeks before I took my break, blogging almost felt like a chore to me. I think when you feel like that about something you like; it’s time to take a week or two off. You know, I blog simply because it’s fun! And when it started to stop becoming fun, I knew I had to take a little break. 

I’ve never been the best with keeping promises on this blog, but towards the end I was really bad. Honestly, I was just not in the mood to write anything. When I started to take a week off, I got really paranoid that I wasn't writing anything and I right then I couldn't already wait to come back. I guess that was a clear indication that I love this! I'm more determined now to make great content and carry on this journey to 200K views.

Right, now that little speech is over, let’s get into the actual update post. 

The last thing I wrote on this blog was about the Paragon Jiu-Jitsu Invitational which is taking place in Cardiff, Wales. Well, a few things have changed since then. Firstly, it's not called Paragon anymore, but instead is called "Polaris". I assume they changed their name due to copyright issues regarding the name "Paragon" which is the same as the Jiu-Jitsu team. 

As of the now, some of the matches have been announced and two more are set to be added. Once the card is complete, I will do a review of the matches like I did for Metamoris 3 and 5. 

In regards to Saviour Tea and 10 Years of BJJ, I'm working on that and it should be published soon. I have a habit of making promises and never following them up, so I'm not going to make any. But I hope to get at least one of them done this weekend. 

There are two things which I haven't done in a while on this blog. They are interviews and articles. 

Previously, I mentioned two people who I would like to interview. They were Bear from Shoyoroll and Jordon Schultz. Actually, I've been in contact with both of them, and as of now, those interviews are not going to happening for the time being. Firstly, Bear said he would love to do it, but he is just too busy at the moment (as you can imagine!). Hopefully, we can do something together in the near future. 

What about Jordon Schultz? Well, this I never saw coming! But, Jordon Schultz has left BJJ and wants nothing to do with the sport, let alone the BJJ media. WOW! I must say I was totally shocked. I've been a fan of Jordon's for a few years now, and I love his style of Jiu-Jitsu, but I never thought he would leave the sport. He is a two time world champion, a black belt, and at one time was arguably the best brown belt in the world. We've been chatting a little bit, and we may be working on something together in the near future. It won't be an interview but it will definitely be something to look forward too. 

Well, since those two were shot down, I'll have to get thinking about who I want to interview next. I've been thinking about trying to get an interview with Jimmy Harbison. I'm a huge fan of his, and I think it would be a good interview but I'll see how things pan out. 

On the subject of articles, I love to do them, but they take a decent amount of work. I have mentioned a few times that I have many articles still in draft and I'm planning on publishing an article about meditation and BJJ. As some of you might know, I meditate every day and I would like to tell you about the effects it's had on my Jiu-Jitsu, as well as some other interesting things. I'm actually really looking forward to this, and it should be out within the next couple of weeks.

This next part has nothing to do with BJJ, but in a little over a week; I will be 20 years old. And as something personal to me, I would like to do some sort of reflection of my teenage years. It will only be a short post, probably no longer than this, but I would like to do it. 

I don't do this as much as should, but I would like to take this time to thank my sponsors Akuma Gear and Submission Sniper. Check them out guys! Big things are going to be happening with them soon.

That's all for this update post. I'll see you next week!

Catch you later,

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Monday, 3 November 2014

The Berimbolo Kid's Match of the Week - Week 15 - Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida vs. Jimmy Harbison - 2011 World Pro Trials

(The previous edition can be found HERE)

After a three week long hiatus, I'm finally back with another Match of the Week! 

Today, I'm sharing with you Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida vs. Jimmy Harbison from the 2011 World Pro Trials.

Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Rodrigo Cavaca and fights for Checkmat. Since his late teens, Buchecha has been seen by many as the next big star in BJJ. He has more than lived up to that, and has gone on to win his weight division and absolute division three years in a row (2012, 2013, and 2014) at the World Championships. As of today, Buchecha is the number one black belt in the world under the IBJJF rankings. 

Being the number one ranked black belt in the world, it's not hard to imagine that Buchecha has won his fair share of medals throughout his time in competition. He is a six time World Champion (2012 weight and absolute, 2013 weight and absolute, and 2014 weight and absolute), a four time WPJJ (2012, 2013 absolute, 2014 weight and absolute) and Pan American Champion (2011, 2012, 2013 weight and absolute), and a one time ADCC Champion (2013).

One thing which is surprising about Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida is his speed for such a big guy. He is so fast and explosive. You will often see him start off a match with a take down, typically a double or single leg. From there, he quickly passes the guard and transitions to a dominant position which is usually the back. It not to say that he's afraid to pull guard either. He is just as dangerous and explosive off his back as he is on top. 

Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida
Source: Mike Calimbus 

James "Jimmy" Harbison is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Lloyd Irvin. He gained a considerable amount of media attention in 2011 after he won the 'grand slam' as a brown belt in competition. This means he took gold in all four major IBJJF tournaments (Worlds, Pan Ams, Europeans, and Brazilian Nationals). After winning the grand slam, Jimmy was quickly promoted to black belt and after only a few months at black belt, he made headlines again my defeating Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles at the 2011 NoGi Worlds. 

Throughout his career, Jimmy has won medals in many major tournaments. He is a one World (2011 brown), Pan American (2011 brown), European (2011 brown), Brazilian National (2011 brown), and World Pro Cup Trails Champion (2011 brown and black). He is also a World Pro Cup NoGi (2011 brown) and New York Open silver medalist (2010 brown weight and absolute). 

Jimmy is quite well rounded as a fighter. Even though you see him use a lot of half and closed guard in his matches, he is also very comfortable on top and passing the guard. He is very good from the half guard position and plays it open similar to a reverse de la riva position. In terms of submissions, Jimmy uses the triangle frequently throughout his matches. It is a submission he has very high success with in competition. 

Jimmy Harbison

Personally, I love brown vs. black belt matches. In nearly everyone, I'm always rooting for the brown belt to win. I always like to see brown belts beat black belts. 

As you can probably tell already, this is a brown vs. black belt match. Jimmy Harbison being the brown belt, and Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida being the black belt. Some of you may not like this match, but I really do. I think Jimmy does an awesome job against Buchecha with his half guard keeping him away for the majority of the match. Feel free to let me know your thoughts!

The video of the match can be found below. I hope you guys enjoy!

See you next week!

(If you are viewing on a mobile device, please click HERE)

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