Tuesday, October 16, 2012


As readers of D/SG know, I love the Japanese shoot style of grappling and it's grappling parent CACC. So, what do we do in order to fulfill both our needs and those of our readers? We go to the source (or as close as we can get) to provide you with some sweet ass history. Today's Grappler's Interrogatories is Dstryrsg v. Submission Arts Wrestling.

SAW was founded in the 1980's by Hidetaka Aso and the arts main influences come via Karl Gotch (CACC) as well as Aso-Sensei's background in Sambo. One of the advantages SAW offers is that, like Sambo, there is a short time limit on the ground; this tends to result in people making faster attempts at submissions, rather than the dreaded John Fitch approach. S.A.W. is primarily a no-gi system that utilizes the use of belts (similar to Luta Livre) and a ruleset that states no standing submissions and very quick stand-ups from groundwork. S.A.W. does not normally incorporate any striking, but on occasion the ruleset will change to that of old school Pancrase.

Since my Bat Phone doesn't have a direct line to Hidetaka Aso in Japan, I found his highest ranking, native english speaking student: Mike Martelle (The Math Librarian.)

Mike currently holds a 5th Dan under Aso-Sensei, and the title of Honbucho - SAW Director of Canada. He has a small network of affiliated schools across the country, as well as members in the US and Guatemala. That being said, he is also a BJJ brown belt and former varsity wrestler.  Mike has met (and competed against) some very, very skilled competitors in SAW, including Pancrase veteran Naohisa Kawamura, ADCC veteran Yoshinori Konishi, and more - all of whom credit SAW as their style. Mike is also an 2009 ADCC veteran and SAW World Heavyweight Champ in 2007.

Mike stated that Aso-Sensei has several books and video instructionals out there with his personal favorite approaches to bodyweight conditioning, wrestling, and submission, but he doesn't have any specific lockflows. His teacher and primary influence in crafting SAW was Karl Gotch during the old UWF days, so much of what you see in Aso-Sensei's material is reflected in other CACC sources of a similar lineage. He's always very adamant that grappling is too individual and unique a sport to stick to curriculums, per se.

Mike is currently growing SAW across Canada and worldwide via a network of schools and recently conducted the largest SAW seminar to date which took place in Guatemala City this past June. You can visit his site or that of Aso Sensei to learn more about either of these nasty grapplers.

So, now it's time for what you've all been waiting for - Case #0005 of The Grappler's Interrogatories: Dstryr/sg v. S.A.W.

How and when did you get your start in martial arts? 
I began martial arts in 1988, practicing Chito-ryu Karate at first. Over the years I've been fortunate enough to train in many different styles.

Tell us how you became one of Aso Sensei's Students?
In 2003 I found Aso-Sensei via the internet after discovering an online article about SAW. In 2004 I entered my first SAW Global Tournament, placing second (that match is also on my Youtube channel). Despite ultimately losing that match, SAW found my performance thoroughly enjoyable. I was awarded my back belt shortly thereafter, and appointed the position of Canadian Honbucho.

Favorite BJJ Fighter/Grappler of All Time? 
Minoru Suzuki.

Closed Guard, Open Guard or Fancy Guard?
Fancy guard!

Fauxhawk, Mohawk, Mullet or Fabio?
Mohawk - actually, my family is of Mohawk (Kanien'keha:ka) descent, and Chief Running Deer is one of my ancestors - so yes, I am technically royalty. :) I also keep in touch with Billy Two Rivers, a Mohawk Catch Wrestler of days gone by.

Fight/Board Shorts, Vale Tudo Shorts, or Spats (i.e., tights)? 
Spats, all day long! I wore them during this year's Copa De Venezuela de BJJ!

Triangle, RNC, Armbar or Other? (If other than triangle, please explain.)
My favouite move is, believe it or not, using the body triangle as a submission - a la Salaverry  vs. Fryklund! I actually hold the world record for most pro MMA wins via this move (seriously, look it up - admittedly, that record is '2'). Of course, when The Math Librarian applies it, we do not call it a 'body lock', 'figure 4', 'anaconda' or any other such nonsense; we call it the Pythagorean theorem!

What Animal Best Defines You as a Grappler (e.g., I am like a snail. I am slow and get smashed a lot)? Note: Answering with Fictional Animals (e.g., Unicorns, Sasquatch) Not Permitted.
Grizzly. Big, strong, heavy, explosive.

Favorite Gracie? If other than Rickson, please explain.
Kron! He was really cool to hang out with ADCC 2009!

Big thanks to Mike and we wish him the best in both martial arts as well as growing his organization, Osss!


  1. Samba is very just like modern martial arts but is a design of struggling. You can see a lot of tailored samba methods in European Portugal and freestyle struggling. In MAM you can see cuff 6 when Dan Severn beaten samba tale and globe champ Ole Takeover. Wrestling Belts


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