Oil Wrestling in Turkey
The world's oldest continually run sporting event, Turkey's Kirkpinar oil wrestling tournament, returned this weekend for it's 660th annual competition.

Ali Gurbuz beat out the field of more than 2000 competitors over three days to claim his fourth title.

Due to the COVID pandemic, last year is believed to be the first time the tournament had ever been canceled. Thus, Gurbuz came in as the defending champion having claimed the crown in 2019, as well as winning the event in 2011 and 2012 (he was stripped of a fifth title in 2013 after testing positive for a banned substance). Kirkpinar (also called yagli gures) wrestlers compete shirtless in leather pants and are doused in olive oil to make gripping more difficult. Matches are held outdoors in a field and won by pinning the opponent or points. Gurbuz's final match against Ismail Koc went 48 minutes.

A trained core is essential for MMA and all forms of martial arts and grappling. Bruce Lee's abdominal training is the best of both worlds. It produces a powerful explosive core and will chisel out your abs. Bruce always sought out the best exercises for strength and speed to make himself better. Over the years of training, Lee understood that all movement is generated from the center, the hips and the core. Your abdominals are the source of power to kick, punch, jump, and run. The spine also uses the core for stability.
Keep Reading Show less

That a director of my city's opera company would call me seemed a little odd. There are probably some monkeys who know more about opera than I do. But the director was inviting me to lunch, so of course I went.

It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19th-century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
Keep Reading Show less
Apologies in advance for the title if it gives impressions that this is going to be all that poetic. It's not this presentation that is all that literary, but something else. Haikus and pentameter aside, MMA has moments that are nothing less than poetic on a pretty astral level. Not long ago, irony at the nauseating level (unless you are a psychopath) happened when former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman broke his leg on Uriah Hall's leg in an eerily similar way as the other former champ Anderson Silva did on Chris's in their title rematch. If you know anything at all about MMA and did not know this story, you have to have been living under a rock. Save your energy and do not go look at pictures of either event as it is nightmare material.
Keep Reading Show less