Love for martial arts

THE SCORE - Jannelle So -
LOS ANGELES — The excitement and anticipation being generated by the Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales fight on March 19, 2005 is now reaching crescendo as fans cross out each day of the calendar nearing the much-awaited bout that will happen at the MGM grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Filipinos love contact sports. We enjoy it because we enjoy action. And the love spills over from boxing to wrestling, to the different martial arts and to the other combat sports. Veegee Garcia, a regular follower of this column, posted the following on www.jannelleso.net. Other readers might benefit from this information.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu was founded and developed by the Gracie Family, who first learned it from a Japanese Jiu-jitsu instructor named Maeda. The Japanese went to Brazil in 1914 where he taught the son of a politician Carlos Gracie, who in turn taught his brothers and cousins.

The Machado brothers (cousins of the Gracies) have developed their own system over 25 years as learned and refined from Brazil. It is now increasingly popular in the United States and Australia with many of their respective practitioners winning major competitions.

The Machado brothers still regularly take part in competitions having won in all major events. Their hand on approach has led them to develop in conjunction with John Will, a student of Rigan Machado, who first opened a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu school in Australia. From this school, a multiple titled champion under Machado Jiu-jitsu was produced. His name is Stephen Kamphuis, who is currently the only Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black belt living and residing in the Philippines.

The Kamphuis-Machado Jiu-jitsu Team Philippines was established only a year ago with the backing of Rigan Machado in the US and John Will of Australia. It became stronger when a partnership with the Progressive Fighting Alliance (PROFIGHT) was made that led to the increase of Machado members in the Philippines.

The PROFIGHT is headed by Michael Plata who is a Blue belt under Stephen Kamphuis in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. PROFIGHT all started as a Russian Sambo organization with pending recognition at the Philippine Olympic Committee to promote sport Sambo in the Philippines. Then Sambo was separated with PROFIGHT because of Machado Jiu-jitsu that led to the formation of Philippine Sambo Association.

Michael Plata was first influenced and trained in Sambo by Gokor Chivichyan in California. He even travels to Thailand just to train with the world famous Fairtex Muay Thai Camp in Bangkok. During his free time, he attends advance classes in Arnis with different Masters in the Filipino Martial Arts. Likewise, he has won a Judo bronze medal in 97, Arnis bronze medal in 98, Kickboxing title in 99 and Sambo gold medal in 2000. He also competed to represent the Philippines to the World Sambo Cup in 2002.

As early this year, PROFIGHT/Kamphuis-Machado students have been winning major BJJ and Judo tournaments. The academy is located at OM SPA Fitness Center, 1829 L.M. Guerrero St., Malate, Manila. It teaches Machado Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Vale Tudo, Muay Thai and Filipino Martial Arts. They train adult men, young kids and women who wants to compete in tournaments or just for self defense.
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