Kenta Iwamoto vs. Jozef Chen

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Some of you know who Kenta Iwamoto and Jozef Chen are. But I’m guessing most of you don’t know about them at all.​

Kenta Iwamoto is an ADCC vet from Japan. He has a Judo background, is a BJJ black belt, and practices MMA these days.​

I don’t know much about Jozef Chen, but he represents B-Team and trains under Craig Jones. He’s still a teenager and considered a phenom.​

Last Sunday, these two competed against each other at ADCC Oceania & Asian Trials.​

Their match is pretty technical and worth watching (you can watch it here).​

Chen prefers leg locks, but you can see he is also comfortable in other positions. Iwamoto primarily attacks from the top, and he’s not afraid of leg attacks — he also has high-level leg lock skills and has beaten Imanari recently.​

I want to highlight two things with regard to this match.​

1. Iwamoto’s default guard passing posture is notable.​

He keeps his hips high and his head low and controls Chen’s shin/s almost all the time. He switches between this posture and the body lock/sprawl style passing posture.​

I suppose his standing posture and shin control make it difficult for Chen to create leg lock entries. And if he tries to do something like arm drag, that will likely open up enough space for Iwamoto to go for the body lock.​

You wouldn’t take this kind of posture with gi because your opponent would be able to grab your collar and break your posture easily.​

If you play gi and no-gi, you might naturally avoid this standing posture in no-gi.​

But in this no-gi context, it works just fine. I think it’s worth tyring it and see how it works for you.​

2. The decisive factor in this match is Iwamoto’s ability to take Chen down.​

In the ADCC rules, your takedown skills play a signnificant role. So if you are interested in competing and winning in this format, you definitely need to sharpen your takedown skills both offensively and defensively.​

What Iwamoto did is sasae-tsurikomi-ashi from the 50/50 (over/under) position (i.e., the wrestling position where both you and your opponent have an underhook and an overhook).​

I looked up on YouTube to find any good tutorial for this move in the no-gi context, but most videos seem to teach this foot sweep on the underhook side as opposed to the overhook side as Iwamoto did. Maybe Iwamoto’s variation is less common? I’m not sure.​

On that note, it seems to me to be a good idea to learn how to do takedowns & throws from the 50/50 position. I’m guessing most pure jiu jitsu guys don’t practice this position much, and you could get a significant advantage over them. You could give them a false sense that it’s a 50/50 situation when it’s in your favor indeed. That’s how Iwamoto vs. Chen’s situation looks to me (i.e., probably Chen wasn’t expecting to get thrown from that position).​

Iwamoto won his division eventually, and he will compete in the 77kg division at ADCC this September. I’m sure that Chen will do better next time and that we’ll probably hear more about him in the future.