Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tap, Snap, or Nap

MMA Fighter Josh Hewlett keeping me in place.


I'm straying off the wrestling path for this post today instead to explore the world of Mixed Martial Arts.  It's a sport I know little about.  But I do know it's becoming very popular.  In fact, that's why I'm writing this.
As you may know from my profile, I'm a TV news anchor.  Luckily, I do the morning show, so we can have more fun with the stories we do and the guests that we book.  Recently, I got an email from a trainer who told me about a young fighter named Josh Hewlett.  He's an MMA fighter and heading to Israel for a pay per view match in November.  I thought this could make for some interesting television.  

The more I thought about it, I thought it might be fun to have Josh demonstrate some of his moves on me.  Of course in a way that wasn't going to inflict too much pain or alter may appearance.

So Tuesday morning, Josh and his trainer Mike Ben Avi arrived at our studio.  We had made arrangements to roll out the anchor desk and put down a thick black mat on the floor.  Mike said he liked the fact that the mat was thick so I wouldn't hurt my hand and wrist from tapping out.  Then he and Josh laughed.  That had me a little worried.

I started the segment with a quick interview with Josh.  He's a pretty quiet guy, and does his talking on the mat.  He trains hard for this and follows a strict diet, high in protein.  As a high school athlete, he told me this was the best option for him after graduation.  


After the interview, my coanchor Emily interviewed Mike as Josh and I went to work on the mat.  Josh first took me down and wrapped me into a submission move.  The first hold, an armbar, he didn't put a whole lot of pressure on me and let me up pretty quick.  

The triangle choke was next.  Josh was on his back, with my legs over the back of my neck and his hands on the back of my head.  Then he applied some pressure.  This time it was a little tighter than the arm bar.  I never left like I was going to pass out, but I tapped pretty quickly, just to make sure.

Next, Josh told me to kick him in the leg.  When I did, he grabbed my leg and swept me off my feet again.  He quickly rolled on top of me again and put me in a hold called the Americana.  It's basically s another type of arm bar.  And in doing my research I found it's one of the top 20 submission holds in the sport.  Gotta agree with that one.  More pressure.

The segment was a lot of fun, I learned something about MMA.  Some of the moves Josh (and other fighters) use are being replicated in the wrestling ring.  The Undertaker's Hell's Gate move is similar to the Triangle Choke Josh used.  And Kurt Angle of course uses the ankle lock submission.

MMA fighters also use their fists to win.  Luckily Josh didn't hit me.  Of course that was part of the agreement before he got there.   Best of luck to Josh as he heads overseas in November, and I wish him the best in his future fighting career.
  

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