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Join Black Belt Magazine and Combat Go as we present Fight Back: A Virtual Martial Arts Training Event Benefiting Covid First Respondents. In Partnership with Bellator MMA and Century Martial Arts we bring you 5 straight days of seminars and interviews from the world's biggest names in martial arts. This LIVE event will benefit first respondents of the Covid-19 pandemic through our partnership with American Red Cross. Please help us in uniting the martial arts community as one to support those putting their lives on the line to help others.
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News From Around The World

Fight Back making headlines across the world as martial artist unite to stand behind the COVID-19 first respondents. This week long event has made an impact in countries like the Philippines, Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom, and the United States where legends of the arts have deep roots.


Ellis Island Honors Society to Join Fight Back, A Martial Arts Event and COVID-19 Fundraiser

Ellis Island Honors Society to Join Fight Back, A Martial Arts Event and COVID-19 Fundraiser
NEW YORK, May 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS) announces their involvement in a COVID-19 fundraiser benefitting medical staff and hospitals which are hit hardest by

Master Ken Live

Master Ken is an actor, comedian, creator of the webshow "Enter the Dojo" as well as a martial artist with various backgrounds including Kenpo.

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Eyal Yanislov Live

Eyal Yanilov travels the world to conduct courses as an Israeli Krav Maga instructor and Chief Instructor of Krav Maga Global who holds the highest level in Krav Maga with Master 3.

Apolo Ladra Live

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Pat Mac Live

Pat McNamara (Mac) has 22 years of Special Operations experience, 13 of which were in 1st SFOD-D with extensive experience in hostile fire/combat zones in the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.

John Hackleman Live

John Hackleman is a 44 year veteran of martial arts, a North American Champion, Pacific heavyweight Champion, coach of the UFC's most dominant fighters and is ranked #5 fighter in the world.

Harinder Singh Live

Harinder Singh is a teacher of military, special forces, Secret Service, SWAT, and over 150 law enforcement agencies across the globe. He is a master instructor of Jeet Kune Do, Tai Chi, Wing Chun, Escrima and holds a Brown Belt in BJJ.

Paulo Rubio Live

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Jared Wihongi Live

Jared Wihongi has over 20 years experience as a SWAT Operator and over 34 years in various martial arts from around the world including the advanced rank of Tuhon in the Filipino combat art of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali.

Burton Richardson Live

Burton Richardson is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, instructor in Jun Fan JKD and Filipino martial arts under Guro Dan Inosanto, instructor in the JKD Grappling Association and Thai Boxing, and has worked as a stunt choreographer and actor.

Tim Kennedy Live

Tim Kennedy currently serves in the United States Army, a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a retired mixed martial artist who fought in the UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, ShoMMA, HDNet FIghts and IFL.

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Stanislav Horuna is a World Games Champion, World and European championship medalist, and a Ukrainian karateka competing in the kumite 75 kg division.

Michael Jai White & Richard Norton Live

Michael Jai White is an actor/director and world class martial artist. Having received the rank of Black Belt in numerous styles and trained under many legendary instructors Michael's acting career has exploded. He has been featured in films such as Spawn, The Dark Night, and many other award winning films.

Richard Norton attained a 9th Degree in Zen Do Kai and is know as an action film star, stuntman, fight choreographer and martial arts trainer.

Royce Gracie Combat Show Live

Master Royce Gracie is a UFC Hall of Fame recipient and founder of the Gracie Self Defense Systems. Royce is known for his incredible impact on the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the martial arts as a whole.

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Dustin Poirier has knocked out Conor McGregor in the second round at the UFC 257 Main Event. This spoils McGregor's long-awaited UFC return after his win over Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone last January. Poirier hinted after the match that he would be open to another bout against McGregor, as this fight brings their rivalry to a 1-1 record. The impressive wins of Poirier and Michael Chandler on Saturday night set the UFC's lightweight division up for a very exciting future.

The Legendary Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame has never before been documented in a single location. Now, you can learn about all the icons that have achieved one of the greatest honors in all of martial arts.

Black Belt Magazine is proud to announce the NEW Member Profiles feature for the Hall of Fame. At the time of this article, the online records account for every inductee from the inaugural year of 1968 all the way through 1990 (upwards of 200 martial artists). The page will be updated continuously and will include every inductee through 2020 in the near future. For now, you can enjoy images and facts about the legendary members for each induction they received before 1991. Take advantage of this never-before-seen opportunity to learn about many of the martial artists who contributed to the lifestyle, culture, and community that every martial artist experiences today.

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A Closer Look at Mongolia's Naadam Festival

Mongolia's "three sports of men" — archery, horseracing and wrestling — were the featured attractions at the first Naadam festival convened by Genghis Kahn himself in 1206.

Fast-forward to the 21st century: The festivals, held nationwide in mid-July each year, still celebrate the formation of the Mongolian Empire and its achievement of independence from China's Qing Dynasty.

The highlight of modern incarnations of Naadam is the wrestling, and many boys who grow up on the steppes dream of one day being crowned a champion.

The wrestling competitions are single-elimination tournaments. Wrestlers wear trunks and an open-chest shirt with a rope tied around the abdomen, all of which opponents are allowed to grab. The most common colors seen are red, which symbolizes power, and blue, which represents the Mongolian sky.

The author (left) grapples with a Mongolian wrestler.

The grapplers also wear heavy traditional boots and a Mongolian hat. The four sides of the hat represent the four provinces of old Mongolia. The top knot is for the five regions of the Buddhist government. The silver badge attached to each hat bears the animal ranking of the wrestler.

In competition, the wrestlers have to win six matches to be crowned champion. There are no weight classes, which is perhaps why the top grapplers generally weigh 260 pounds or more. The goal is to make the opponent touch the ground with anything other than the soles of his feet.

Because of the coronavirus, the most recent Naadam competition in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar took place without an audience. Spectators had to watch on television or online.

At the competitions in the provinces, however, the action was live, and residents of nearby towns showed up to watch.

In a secondary subdivision called Temenzogt, located about seven hours' drive from Ulaanbaatar, I was fortunate to have a chance to wrestle in a Naadam event.

Author Antonio Graceffo (right) and his opponent.

After quickly sizing up my huge opponent, a former champion, I braced myself for a pushing and pulling battle of upper-body strength. I was surprised when he chose to use his heavy boots and massive thighs to kick my legs out from under me.

And with that, my Naadam experience came to an abrupt end. I was grateful, however, for the efforts of all my Mongolian friends who made it possible for me to fulfill my dream of wrestling in Naadam.

I learned a lot about Mongolia, the culture and the ground, so much so that I've decided to stay here another year and really dedicate myself to learning Mongolian wrestling.

Maybe at next year's Nadaam, I'll be able to last 20 seconds.

Antonio Graceffo writes Black Belt's Destinations column. Read more of his work here. His book Warrior Odyssey is available here.

Photos Courtesy of Antonio Graceffo

To read more about Mongolian wrestling, check out "Wrestling With the Descendants of Genghis Khan: Black Belt's Asia Correspondent Travels to Mongolia to Grapple!" in our February/March 2021 issue. Go here to order your copy from the Black Belt Store!

In a competition bereft of many of its top wrestlers, Daieisho was a surprise winner of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament Sunday in Tokyo. With the area under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic and a post-war record 19 wrestlers withdrawing from the event, Daieisho pulled off the upset victory coming from the maegashira level, the lowest of five ranks in sumo's top division, to win the title.

It was Daieisho's first championship as he finished the event with a 13-2 record. Displaying a powerful pushing and thrusting style, he also garnered the prize for outstanding performance during the tournament as well as the prize for best technique.

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