From the cozy confines of the Abe-Ani Combat Club, on the top floor of Gold’s Gym South Tokyo Annex in Tokyo’s Ota ward, Hiroyuki Abe and company are busy at work raising a formidable -- albeit adorable -- army of little grapplers, ages 4 to 14.
It is truly a thing of wonder to have a 5-year-old shoot in on you for a double-leg takedown, and then doggedly switch to dragging you down with the single when you prove too heavy. The next surprise comes when scrambling to all fours, said 5-year-old quickly breaks you down limb by limb until it’s easier to roll you for the pin.
That a majority of these youngsters have honed these particular skills to the point of reflexivity, regardless of their opponent’s size or age, speaks to the fact that Abe has successfully bred Japan’s next generation of wrestlers, some of whom are already national champions looking to take over the combat sports world in just a few years. LINK
Take a break from the all the stress of looking at Dana white, fighter pay, Tito, and just take a second to appreciate the beauty of this sport. This article really does make you proud to be a mixed martial arts fan.