Thursday, August 24, 2000

Story of Cus D'Amato as a kid

Story of Cus D'Amato as a kid

NOTE: No copyright infringement intended.

Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero
By David Remnick
Random House
© 1998 David Remnick. All rights reserved.
ISBN: 0-375-50065-0.

From Chapter 1

As a kid, growing up in the Bronx, D'Amato starved himself for days, the better to withstand the pain when someone tried to take food from him. He was probably the youngest fatalist in the borough. He used to watch funeral processions outside his building and say, "The sooner death the better." D'Amato was a street kid and a street fighter. One day another kid slammed him in the head with a stick, and he lost the vision in his left eye. D'Amato, however, believed in the regeneration of optic tissue, and throughout his life he made an effort to heal himself, closing his good eye so as to "force" the left eye to see once more. When he became a trainer, D'Amato told his fighters that security, financial and otherwise, would be the death of them. Security dulled the senses, and pleasure -- pleasure was worse. "The more pleasures you get out of living," D'Amato said, "the more fear you have of dying."

NOTE: Posted 8/12/2014 and backdated to 8/24/2000 to mirror my old archives.

Thursday, August 10, 2000

Some sarong notes from a Dan Inosanto seminar by JMAN

NOTE: submitted by JMAN. If you have questions or comments, please email me and I will forward it to him. May 20-21, 2000 (?) Dan Inosanto Chicago (?) seminar

We worked on some sarong techniques, including chokes with the sarong while doing body scissors/guard and some "freestyle" grappling with the sarong (only allowable techniques were sarong chokes and arm bars). We then did some freestyle attack and defense against sarong from the ground. These methods were developed by Dan and one of his BJJ instructors (a Machado BB, but not one of the brothers).

Standing With Sarong Over Shoulder

1) Basic Pass Choke: I believe this choke was shown on either Rick Tucci's Maphilindo Silat #1 or #2. Basically you "open" the sarong up with your left hand and pass the opponent's head between your chest/stomach and the sarong. You then pull down on the top of the sarong and up on the bottom, creating the choke.

2) Puter Kepala with arm lock and choke: Similar entry as the above, but now you take them down with the puter kepala throw. Maintain control on the opponent's arm and place it under your shoulder to get a sitting arm bar. If memory serves the choke came when you arched your back for the arm bar, but don't quote me on that. You may need some slight manipulation.

3) Guillotine-Spin under neck break-Knee Brace Choke: You do a standing guillotine after passing their head into the sarong (I am fairly certain that it is same entry as #1). Release the choke and grab their chin with your choking hand. Pull up on chin as you spin under them, causing them to fall in a very awkward manner. This is very easy to perform but rather hard to explain...if you are doing the choke with your right hand you would grab their chin with the right hand. As you pull it up and to the left (in a circular motion) you slip underneath them. You fall to your back using your rotation to twist the neck. Once they are down brace your shin against the back of their head and push while tugging back on the sarong.

4) Guillotine-Knee Strike-Axe Kick Puter Kepala Throw-Step over arm lock-Choke: Same entry as #3. Now fire a knee strike at opponent's head. Then, after placing the leg down, kick leg up and let it fall on opponent's neck (remember, they ARE bending over at this point). This tosses them just like Puter Kepala. We did several arm locks from here, all by stepping at least one leg over the opponent's head. Basically they were the "branch up", "branch down" and straight sitting armlocks covered on Rick Tucci's Maphilindo set. The choke was tightened by arching the back and rolling the shoulders.

From the Guard with Sarong Over shoulder

1) Noose Choke: Take the sarong and loop it over opponent's head. Now holding both sides of the sarong that is on the opponent's neck in one hand, slowly slide that hand up towards the neck. You must stabilize the sarong by holding it with the other hand.

2) Pass over neck (works like a lapel then): Make a loop out of the sarong and pass it over the opponent's head, just like #1. Now work lapel style chokes (we mainly worked the X choke)

3) Hook and Triangle: Similar to Dr. Gyi's basic stick chokes, except the sarong takes the place of the stick and your arm. There are several lapel chokes that work off this principle as well. Instead of passing sarong over opponent's head as in last 2 entries make a loop out of the Sarong and pass the loop over opponent's neck. Pull down one loop while pushing up on opponent's neck with your opposite forearm.

4) "Feed the Loop": Same entry as above but pass the loop to opposite hand. Now just pull. If you need to you can tug in opposite direction with other hand.

NOTE: Posted 8/4/2014 and backdated to 8/10/2000 to mirror my old archives.

For some animated GIFs I've made of Manong Inosanto performing the Sarong/Malong chokes, please check:

Other Dan Inosanto notes from my old site:

Story of Cus D'Amato and fear

Story of Cus D'Amato and fear

NOTE: No copyright infringement intended.

THE BLACK LIGHTS: Inside the World of Professional Boxing by Thomas Hauser
Pages 18-20

One of boxing's foremost authorities on the subject of fear is Cus D'Amato, the legendary trainer of Jose Torres and Floyd Patterson. A diminutive, outspoken man who has worked with young fighters for most of his 77 years, D'Amato often looks back on his own experiences to put the subject of fear into context.

"I remember the first time I got involved in what I call a waiting fight," D'Amato reminisces. "In the neighborhood in which I lived, which was a pretty tough neighborhood, you got involved in fights all the time. Whenever you got angry, you fought or you lost respect. Under those conditions you didn't think about being frightened. You replaced fear with anger. But it's different when you have the experience of waiting, an experience I had once. I lived in an Italian neighborhood, and a few blocks away there was an Irish neighborhood. I never used to have trouble with the Irish; I got along with everybody. But then the neighborhoods had some trouble, and both sides said, 'You bring a guy and we'll bring a guy, and they'll fight it out. Instead of both gangs fighting, we'll have two guys representing the neighborhoods.' I was 16," D'Amato continues, "and the Italian guys chose me. I wasn't mad at the Irish, I wasn't mad at anybody. But three days ahead of time I knew I had to fight this big Irish guy at nine o'clock on Saturday night. So comes the night of the fight, I didn't want to fight because this guy never did anything to me, but I got no choice. All the Italian guys and I go over to the street between the neighborhoods, and wait under a big street light. We got there, maybe five minutes to nine, with eighty or ninety guys, and the Irish must have had a hundred but their fighter hadn't shown yet. I sat down on the curb, and I was thinking to myself. 'How the hell did I get into this mess?' To tell the truth, I was scared. All my life, when I got mad I'd fought. I was fighting grown men when I was fourteen, but now I'm saying, 'Jesus Christ, what's the matter with me? I got to be crazy to do this. The next time some guys try to get me to fight, I'll fight them first; I got nothing against these Irish fellows.'" D'Amato's eyes grow larger, his face more animated, as his tale progresses. "Anyway, I'm sitting there, really sweating. I reached up, felt the sweat on my forehead, and figured it was blood, but it was only sweat. Nine o'clock comes and the Irish guy isn't there. Quarter after nine, the Irish guy isn't there. Nine-thirty, I'm still waiting, and all the time the waiting is getting worse because this guy is gonna be there, and I'm gonna have to fight him. Finally, at ten o'clock, one of his buddies comes and says the Irish guy is scared. He ain't showing. It was the happiest moment of my life."

Fighters are the most exposed athletes in the world. During a fight, the crowd observes every twitch and movement. Still, spectators rarely see fear in a quality fighter. "That," says D'Amato, "is because the fighter has mastered his emotions to the extent that he can conceal and control them." But whatever a fighter says, the fear is there. It never goes away. He just learns to live with it. "And the truth is," D'Amato continues, "fear is an aspect to a fighter. It makes him move faster, be quicker and more alert. Heroes and cowards feel exactly the same fear. Heroes just react to it differently. On the morning of a fight, a boxer wakes up and says, 'How can I fight? I didn't sleep at all last night.' What he has to realize is, the other guy didn't sleep either. Later, as the fighter walks toward the ring, his feet want to walk in the opposite direction. He's asking himself how he got into this mess. He climbs the stairs into the ring, and it's like going to the guillotine. Maybe he looks at the other fighter, and sees by the way he's loosening up that his opponent is experienced, strong, very confident. Then when the opponent takes off his robe, he's got big bulging muscles. What the fighter has to realize," concludes D'Amato, "is that he's got exactly the same effect on his opponent, only he doesn't know it. And when the bell rings, instead of facing a monster built up by the imagination, he's simply up against another fighter."

NOTE: I am mirroring my old archives. Posted 8/12/2014 and backdated to 8/10/2000.


back to top
Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps