Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hirotaka Kato (JPN) - Flavio Canto (BRA) (-81kg) 2008 World Judo Team Championships - Tokyo

Oh man, this is such a match.

Canto goes for the juji-gatame off of the tomoe-nage feint pretty much right away, but Kato wants no part of that game with arguably the best ne waza player in the sport. He stands, and lifts Canto off the mat for the call of "matte." Before you know it Canto tries it all again, hooking the leg this time to try and keep Kato from raising him off the mat, but Kato still manages to lift Canto for the matte. We some high-speed grip fighting, then Kato works his left arm around Canto's back and, I must say, it looks to me like Canto bails to the mat in a way that could have earned him a shido (a "slight infringement") but what do I know. After a strange scramble, we’re back up.

And here’s where it gets really awesome: Canto hasn’t been able to take the juji off the direct entry (well, the tomoe nage entry, I guess, but come on), but he is able to secure a rolling juji-gatame after taking Kato’s back off of an incredibly quick right uchi mata that doesn’t score, but that provides him the entry into ne waza that he needs. Note how Canto tries his best to grab Kato's far leg with his left arm, which is the textbook way to perform the rolling juji, but, unable to secure it, he hooks the near leg and finishes all the same.

A training partner of mine was of the opinion that I totally needed to see this match. I kept forgetting, but he persisted, and I'm glad he did. Because it is awesome.

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