WTF: Systema gets put to the test, Nigerian wrestling, Karate Combat and Kendo

We’re back and ready for more fringe action this week, kids. And boy howdy, do we have some juicy bits for you. But first…

By: Victor Rodriguez | 1 year ago
WTF: Systema gets put to the test, Nigerian wrestling, Karate Combat and Kendo
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

We’re back and ready for more fringe action this week, kids. And boy howdy, do we have some juicy bits for you.

But first we’ve got something uncommon even by WTF standards.

We’re actually gonna start off with a bit of a cheat this week, and it requires some explanation and metaphorical table-setting for fuller context.

If you’ve been online in martial arts circles long enough, you’ve heard of Systema. It’s Russian in origin, and has a backstory that depends on who you hear it from. There’s practitioners that teach highly impractical or improbable gun disarms:

Then there’s guys that teach some more… eccentric things:

So that brings us to DK Yoo, who runs what could be seen as an offshoot of Systema called WCS, or Warfare Combat System. It sure looks pretty:

He decided to show his stuff in a boxing ring this past weekend. Could a blazing-fast guy with lethal techniques and stylish attacks replicate that with gloves on in a special rules bout?

Well, Jerry at Fight Commentary Breakdowns has a brief recap of how that went. That cinematic-friendly badassery you see in some of Yoo’s vids was fully absent. To put it bluntly, it was atrocious.

It didn’t go great. If you want to put yourself through the full bout, knock yourself out. It didn’t go great. Maybe Yoo saw it differently, seeing as he’s set up a highlight vid of his own. It seems we have differing views as to what constitutes a highlight, and I suppose that’s fine.

Now, I’m highlighting this to illustrate how these lines continue to get blurred. Instead of a more traditional martial art, it’s a more modern form that purportedly is effective in close quarters and works well in a more evolved world for combat training. But in the end it gets put to the test and just doesn’t pass muster. You can blame the limitations of boxing, since Yoo won’t be able to use all of his weapons in this scenario, but then again, he probably shouldn’t have gone with this particular format. It’s unfortunate, and perhaps it’s best that things didn’t go any worse.

It should also be noted that Yoo was initially slated to face Xu Xiaodong (yes, that guy). So yeah, might have dodged a big one there.

We’re moving on from there to African Warriors, where unlike other and more traditional Dambé organizations, kicks are allowed. That makes for more opportunities and a ton of wild knockouts. Here’s a handful of them:

Here’s more from African Warriors, but this time it’s their wrestling division:

And we’ll keep it in Nigeria for Dambe Warriors, where this bout starts off with a celebration ceremony that frankly has me feeling very jealous that I’m not there in person. But when the fight starts, it’s all business. It’s a game of inches and milliseconds, because this one ends with a beautiful shot that shocks the recipient.

Karate Combat had back to back events recently, and here’s some recaps from their latest season. The production value continues to improve, highlighting the action perfectly:

This one starts with a stunner, just lovely stuff.

Here’s a collection of glorious Lethwei headbutts doing massive damage. Rough going all around, it’s not for the faint of heart:

MAHATCH has been kicking out some very raw and primal bare-knuckle boxing, and this recap of some of their most recent finishes and big moments is a perfect encapsulation for what bare knuckle can be (video is age-restricted):

Finally, here’s a recent Japan vs Korea Kendo competition, which is absolutely spellbinding. Just lovely technique.

Holidays are around the bend, so be sure to gather up all the patience possible to surround yourself by relatives you hate. And remember – you might think you can fight, but there are many guys like you all over the world.

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About the author
Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez has been a writer and podcaster for Bloody Elbow since 2015. He started his way as a lowly commenter and moderator to become the miscreant he is now. He often does weekly bits on fringe martial arts items across the globe, oddball street combat pieces, previews, analysis, and some behind-the-scenes support. He has trained in wrestling, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the occasional Muay Thai and Judo lesson here and there. Victor has also been involved with acting and audio editing projects. He lives in Pennsylvania where he plays way too many video games and is an S-rank dad.

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