|Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on January 26, 2018 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
I have not been keeping up on blogging for quite some time. Almost 2 years have seemed to fly right by, but recently I have had the urge to come here and catch up on all the things that have been going on with the Dojo, Team Renegade, and life in general. So let's go back to early 2016 and take it from there...
2016... A year of injury, training, and reflection
The previous Blog entry was from February of 2016 and I had set some pretty high competition goals for myself. Almost immediately after that Blog entry I was injured pretty badly in the shoulder. I had pain almost daily and was unable to perform even a few basic pushups. This severly limited my training and I began to feel less desire to compete. Certain techniques I favored could not be done with the limited strength and mobility I was experiencing in my shoulder. Aside from that, I didn't have the "fire" to go out and compete, I felt a little burnt out from the previous 2 years of competition. During this time I was still teaching and training 6 to 7 days a week, I just needed a break from the rigors of competition and the hard training required to compete with elite athletes.
I titled this entry 'Injury, training, and reflection' before I really knew what words to put down. We went through the injury and the desire to take time off from competiing, and i mentioned I had been teaching and training regularly as usual. So why the reflection? I guess I don't really seem to remember 2016 all that much lol, I had to just quickly look at my 2016 facebook status and look through my passport to see if I had done anything or gone anywhere interesting! Yes I did plenty, but the most enjoyable time of 2016 was being a dad to my 3 year old son Peter. Going out to movies and lunch and just having a good time.
I started Peter training at my dojo when he was 3 and a half. I would just bring him in to class for small amount of times to get a feel for some techniques and the atmosphere of training. By September of 2016, a month before his 4th birthday, he was training 2 to 3 times a week and doing full classes. I decided to have Peter's 4th Birthday at the dojo, I invited all my junior students and about 60 kids came. It was a really fun day!
I should mention 2016 was another successful year for team Renegade, we won medals at Sambo Nationals, USA Combat Wrestling Championships,, and at a few other Submission Grappling events.
Otherwise, during 2016 I had considered moving out of New York, I had a desire for a warmer climate and a different pace of life. I have since changed my mind due to many factors, some I will discuss when I recap 2017. Catching up slowly buy surely....
|Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on February 9, 2016 at 10:30 AM||comments (0)|
Some Goals for 2016
New Year's Eve has always been my favorite day of the year. It is the day I reflect back on the year and decide what i want to do in the coming year. I have always enjoyed writing out and setting goals. It has been just about proven that writing goals, handwritten with a pen and paper, is many times more poweful than just saying them. I am a person that always has "to do" lists written everywhere, goals, missions, plans, and a million other things! I certainly don't achieve everything I set out to, and plans tend to change along the way, and because of this I think it's important to stay fluid with the different paths and options, rather than have concrete plans. Life throws curveballs at you that sometimes you just don't see coming. Adapt and adjust accordingly. my goals are divided into several categories. I have personal, financial, travel, Renegade association, Dojo (my gym) and competition goals. My Personal and Financial goals aren't really the subject of this Blog, although they overlap the other areas. Assuming I stay happy and healthy, and that I can manage to save a few dollars, I should be able to make a good attempt of acheiving my other goals.
Competition and Travel
If you have been reading my Blog it should be very apparent that I love to compete and I love to travel. I enjoy traveling and experiencing new peoples and cultures tremendously. Training for, and competing in competition makes me feel truly 'alive'. It is hard to explain if you haven't competed in Combat Sports. Maybe it's like a "Quest", you train for months, you travel to some far away land, and then you do 1 on 1 battle with another warrior that has trained for months and months. You win and you celebrate! You lose and maybe you learn something!
I plan on competing in the USA Team Trials for the Combat Wrestling World Championships. The Trials are in April down in Lowell, Arkansas. The winners of each weight division will get the chance to represent the United States at the World Championships this October in Tamasi, Hungary. If I win in April I will also compete at the Combat Wrestling Pan Ams this June in Montreal. I am fully commited to making the US team and going to Hungary. I really enjoyed visiting Bulgaria last year and competing there, and I was able to spend a few days in Istanbul at the end of that trip. This year, if I make the team and go to Hungary, after competition I plan to visit Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. It will be 3 new cities and 3 new countries.
If I don't make the US team in April, I will switch my training to include more Sambo and compete at the Sambo Masters World Championship scheduled for Porec, Croatia this October. I have been asked to represent the US team in previous years at the Sambo World Championships, but something always comes up. I have already been to Croatia before, when I was 12 years old. It was all just Yugoslavia back then. If I was to compete in Croatia I would also plan travel in that region. Porec is actually not far from Venice, and I have never been to Northern Italy. Perhaps Venice, Florence, Rome? Or Venice, Milan, Switzerland?
In a perfect world....I will compete at the Combat Wrestling World Championships in Hungary, stay in Europe, and a week later compete at the Sambo World Championships in Croatia. This would be very difficult to do on so many levels....but the thought ignites fire in me...to compete in 2 world championships in 2 different sports, just one week apart. This is my ultimate competition goal for 2016.
Set high goals and have big expectations!
I try to set my goals pretty high but so they are also attainable. Aim for the stars.... and you just might hit the moon! It's important to set high goals and eliminate distractions and people that tell you that you CAN'T do something. If you don't believe that you can achieve something, then, you probably won't. Limiting your beliefs, limits your potential.
|Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on December 3, 2015 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
Combat Wrestling World Championships - Varna, Bulgaria - August 2015
Over the past few months I had been preparing for the Combat Wrestling Worlds. I planned out my training for 3 months and adjusted based on my progress. It was quite an experience to prepare for, as only the champion of each country is able to compete, so every opponent you will face is the very best in their weight class in the country they are representing. I have competed so much, especially in Sambo at the international level, that I felt I would have an advantage over most opponents. I don't get nervous when i compete anymore. It took years to learn how to control the anxiety and 'butterflies' that competitors exerience from time to time. In past competitions I would sometimes get that nervous feeling and other times I would not. I found that nothing is more important than feeling 'on' at competition time. I could write a short book on how I learned to master being relaxed in competition, but, for now, it's something that I have confidence in, the fact that I will be in a peak mental state at match time.
A big part of my training is avoiding injuries. Leading up to this tournament I eliminated Kickboxing and MMA sparring, as well as Judo and Sambo Randori with a Kurtka/Gi. Another important aspect of my training is to not over train. The internet is full of memes about people 'crushing' training, or training like there is no tomorrow, and other stuff about "leaving it all in the gym". There is no need, in my mind at least, to train to the point that you can hardly move the next day. It will negatively affect performance. To me, it's like training a racehorse by running it to failure everyday, or to increase demand on it until it's at a breaking point by stacking weight on it's back. Although I know nothing about horses, let alone training them, this seems counter productive. Wouldn't it be wiser to run the horse just hard enough that it wants to do more, but deny it from running to exhaustion, so it wakes up wanting to push itself more? So it looks forward to training the next day? Training does not have to be a painful breaking point experience. Breaking your body down so your weary mind has to overcome physical fatigue and exhaustion almost daily is a recipe for injury and disaster.
Training and diet....
From the paragraph above it may seem that I am against training hard, but that is not the case. I just don't like to glorify extreme training, especially to new people just starting out. A new student to grappling should not do the workouts of experienced grapplers and competitors. Combat Wrestling is 5 minute matches, so I would grapple for 5 minutes, take a minute break and go again right away. The idea is to condition the body to go hard for 5 minutes without having to slow down the pace. My training went roughly something like this, 2 hours of grappling 5 days a week. Weight training 3 times a week, non grappling cardio 3 times per week (stationary bike, other sports). I also taught 10 to 15 classes per week which allowed for additional light workouts and stretching. My diet was high protein, moderate amount of fats, low carb, very little sugar. Meals/snack were every 3 hours. 1 cheat meal per week was required. With fairly strict diet discipline I went from 214 lbs to 205 lbs in about 6 weeks.
The Team and weight cutting.....
The night before Team USA left for Bulgaria, we all met at New York Combat Sambo in Manhattan for a team meeting and workout. Although we were a team of 5 competitors and 2 coaches from around the United States, we seemed to all get along, share techniques, and started to bond as a team. We were going to spend the next week together, without any of our friends or family nearby, in a strange country, with only each other to count on. I have known the head coach, Stephen Koepfer for well over 10 years and have spent endless hours training together. Stephen is also the first person to introduce me the martial art of Sambo. USA Team member Denny Lenormand from New Orleans is another Sambo practioner that I have spent time with at competitions and is a student of my good friend Reilly Bodycomb. The other team coach, Tim Kuth, as well as the other 3 competiors, Roli Delgado, Kevin Sniff, and Morgan Bracken, I had only met briefly at the USA Team Trials back in April. Although I had seen Roli Delgado fight on The Ultimate Fighter and then in the UFC a few times. It was good to have a UFC veteran on the team.
Weigh-ins were to be on Friday, the day before the tournament. We arrived in Varna, Bulgaria, on Wednesday morning. The week of competiton I was drinkink alot of water and limiting sodium. The idea is to get your body used to flushing water and not to retain water. The last 2 days I began to limit my water intake in preparation for the final weight cut. The morning of the day of the weigh ins i was 203 lbs and needed to get to 198 lbs. I drank a little coffee and sipped some water until about 3 hours before weigh ins. I did not have access to a sauna or exercise equipment at the hotel, so i planned to cut weight in the hotel room. I turned the hot water in the shower on to rasie the tempeture of the room, I then put on 2 t-shirts, a sweatshirt, anda pair of shorts under exercise pants. I always bring resitance bands away to tournaments to warm up with, but in this case it was to be used for exercise to move my body to break a sweat. Along with the bands, I did wrestling drills with Coach Tim Kuth and Roli Delgado, who both hungout and supported me during the weight cut. After about 2 hours of constant moving I made it to the goal of 198lbs. It was by far the easiest weight cut I had ever done. i did not feel drained or tired but was fairly thirsty and hungry. After going to the venue and making weight, I immediately began to rehydrate with water and coconut water.
I feel I did good, I made it to the finals and lost 4-1 to a very high level freestyle wrestler from Bulgaria named Nural Nazmiev, who was just in Sweden for several weeks helping Alexander Gustaffson with his wrestling in preparation for his UFC title fight with Daniel Cormier. Yeah, he is that good, and I am honored to have had the chance to compete against him. I did many things right leading up to and competing at this tournament. My diet, nutrition, training, and weight cut was just about perfect. On the mat, I felt no pressure, no anxiety, and was supremely confident. Technically i did many thngs well, I threw an opponent with an Uchimata off of a single leg attempt that won me a match in over time. I avoided giving up pin points vs the best wrestler I have ever competed against, so that is a small victory, even in a match I eventually lost.
All in all, it was a great experience, I got a silver medal for my efforts. Thanks again to everyone who supported me and the rest of the team!
Team USA after World Championships 1 gold, 2 silver, and2 bronze medals. The only country out of 13 countries to have every team member earn a medal!
Competitors Mathew Kaiser (Canada), Adam Lindop (Great Britain) and Anthony Sansonetti (USA)
|Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on November 12, 2015 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
U.S. Combat Wrestling Team Trials - April 2015 - Lowell, Arkansas
I had been following the recent developments in Combat Wrestling, a sport that was very popular in Japan in the 1990's and had led to several of the best Japanese Combat Wrestlers becoming very successful MMA fighters. It is a sport which has rules that try to give an even playing field to all grappling styles. Throws and pins are rewarded with points, groundwork must be active or competitors restart on their feet, and a submission wins the match immediately.
(More on the history of Combat wrestling here http://www.mmamania.com/2015/3/22/8268575/combat-wrestling-world-championship-aug-22-varna-bulgaria )
The idea of competing in a new sport is very intriguing to me, and I decided in February of 2015 that I would prepare to compete at the US Team Trials. The winners of each weight division would then represent the Unites States at the World Championships in Bulgaria. I headed down to Arkansas with long time Renegade Jeremy Piaser, who was also competing in the weight class below me. Jeremy did very good winning all of his matches and getting to the finals. He was doing very well in the finals until he made one small mistake that lost him the match.
My biggest opponent was the weight cut, I had to make 90 kg, which is 198 lbs. I cut about 5 lbs the day before the tournament. The morning of the tournament I was 2 lbs heavy after my first weigh in attempt, so I had to put on sweats and move and wrestle for 30 minutes to make weight. That left me little time to fully rehydrate and I did not feel truly at my best. Weight cutting aside, I won all of my matches and became the U.S. Champion at 90kg! Now it was time to think ahead to Bulgaria and the World Championships in August.
Team USA above from left to right, Anthony Sansonetti, Kevin Sniff, Roli Delgado, Denny Lenormand , Morgan Bracken
A picture with all of the guys that competed from the American Sambo Association
|Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on November 4, 2015 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
RISE Sambo Championships - March 2015- Philadelphia
The Rise Sambo tournament was organized and run by Erik Purcell, who is also the owner of MPR MMA in pennsylvania. The tournament was incredibly well run and the competition was top notch with world class competitors flying in from several countries. Erik is a seasoned Sambo competitor and I think this showed in how the tournament was run in a very "athlete first" manner, as it should always be.
We had 4 teenage members of Team Renegade enter the competition, and after a full day of fighting we came away with 2 Gold medals, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze!