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The Korean Zombie
April 28, 2010 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Chan Sung Jung is a MMA fighter. He has an unorthodox style. And he keeps coming at you regardless of the pace. They call him the Korean Zombie.
posted by ishmael (36 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
He got robbed on Saturday. That is all.
posted by Burritos Inc. at 5:18 PM on April 28, 2010


For the non-MMA folks, what is unorthodox about his style?
posted by jquinby at 5:23 PM on April 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wikipedia includes this helpful clarification on his page: "[...] Jung ended up winning the fight by triangle choke submission at 1:25 of the second round, but was not required to step in as a replacement.[8] He is not really a zombie though." Go, Wikipedia!
posted by ga$money at 5:27 PM on April 28, 2010


He walks straight at his opponent with his chin up and exposed, hands down, and flat footed. Normally this would be walking into a knockout. But somehow he hasn't gotten caught yet.

Also this is similar to how a zombie walks.
posted by ishmael at 5:29 PM on April 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Aha. I was wondering 2/3 the way through that second clip whether the "spinning back fist" was kosher, considering he might be striking with a minimum of padding with the back of the hand.

Glued to these clips...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:33 PM on April 28, 2010


Good fight. I also appreciate that with UFC's own line of clothing, I know who to avoid when I'm out of bubblegum.
posted by uaudio at 5:38 PM on April 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Not a big MMA watcher but having watched that match with Garcia (yikes), I have to agree that he got robbed. He was in control almost the whole time and Garcia nearly lost it completely in the corner there before he lost his mouthpiece.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 5:45 PM on April 28, 2010


Actually, I'm surprised that the back fist isn't kosher for that show. Nearly every other mma org allows it.
posted by ishmael at 5:54 PM on April 28, 2010


Wow. I do think his approach is a modified Rope-A-Dope, but instead of being the one against the ropes, he pushes his opponent to tire himself out because he seems to offer easy targets but never really takes the full hit it would seem. Even when Garcia got a clean headkick on him that "rocked" him, he wobbled in the pocket and just kept up his attack and pushed Garcia back with an almost immediate counter push that landed 2 blows to the head and face. Also, the fight where he had the choke out was incredible because from a hit he returned and immediately was on top of his opponent. He definitely lives up to his name.
posted by daq at 5:59 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, Joe Rogan's commentary in the Garcia fight was funny.
posted by daq at 5:59 PM on April 28, 2010


All the MMA fans at work were talking about "the Zombie fight" on Monday and everyone thought he should have won. 30-30 draw at least.

Apropos of nothing (well, maybe the first clip) I wish Strikeforce would hire Bas Rutten to be their Joe Rogan.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:04 PM on April 28, 2010


He did get robbed, it was sad. What was awesome was the crowd booing the decision even though they had been behind Garcia the whole fight.
posted by frenetic at 6:06 PM on April 28, 2010


For the non-MMA folks, what is unorthodox about his style?

I am also interested in this question. Is his style unmixed?
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:08 PM on April 28, 2010 [2 favorites]



For the non-MMA folks, what is unorthodox about his style?

I am also interested in this question. Is his style unmixed?
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:08 PM on April 28 [+] [!]


It was answered above two posts after the question.

By all rights he should get knocked out because of his stance and aggression, but he manages somehow.
posted by ishmael at 6:12 PM on April 28, 2010


On one hand, I really think that the kind of measured, controlled styles that fighters like Machida, Silva, and Shields - among others - employ are highly undervalued. If you just have the patience to think about what's going on in the fight other that someone getting hit, it is very interesting to see how you can control an opponent for an entire fight without getting a hand laid on you.

On the other, that Jung/Garcia fight was goddamned exciting. I was literally standing up for the last two rounds. Garcia is a zombie, too. I don't know how he took so many shots to the chin. And all of those knees from Jung, geez.
posted by ignignokt at 6:16 PM on April 28, 2010


Also, Joe Rogan's commentary in the Garcia fight was funny.

Goldberg getting Jung's name wrong about five times was pretty funny, too, if you're already familiar with Goldberg's buffoonery.
posted by ignignokt at 6:18 PM on April 28, 2010


By all rights he should get knocked out because of his stance and aggression, but he manages somehow.

Ahh, I see. But in MMA, where leg sweeps are permissible, wouldn't dropping your hands to the middle make a certain amount of sense? In boxing and other martial arts such as taekwondo where contact below the belt is impermissible you don't have to worry about protecting your lower body, but here, it seems like there's something to be gained from diverging from the traditional ingrained "protect your head" training because you've got your entire body to worry about.
Also, from the clips, I notice he also seems to use many front leg kicks. Is this typical in MMA?
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:10 PM on April 28, 2010


Ahh, I see. But in MMA, where leg sweeps are permissible, wouldn't dropping your hands to the middle make a certain amount of sense?

It would if you had a really, really good sense of distance and could reliable raise your hand to your head as soon as an opponent got within punching range of your head. For most people, though, it's best to keep the hands up. A shot to the head is even more important to avoid in MMA than it is in boxing because the much smaller gloves (5 oz. vs. 16 oz.) usually mean that one square punch to the jaw could mean a knockdown, if not an outright KO.

This is certainly not to say that it's not important to defend your legs. As you noticed, there were a lot of kicks to the leg in these fights. That technique (originally from muay Thai) has had a place in MMA for a long time and is becoming even more common because of its recent effectiveness.

The title fight on the card that hosted the Jung/Garcia fight was between Jose Aldo and Urijah Faber. Faber is a strong, athletic wrestler, but Aldo whaled on his legs throughout the fight, and Faber lost the ability to shoot in for takedowns because his legs were so damaged.

Not defending your legs has caused a quite few champions to lose lately. Karate-incorporating phenom Lyoto Machida seemed invincible to people before Shogun stymied him with leg kicks and body kicks. Chuck Liddell lost to journeyman Keith Jardine for the same reason.

The best way to defend leg kicks, though, isn't with your hands, but rather to check them with your knee.
posted by ignignokt at 7:53 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Interesting post, thanks. He sometimes reminds me of the great one.
posted by churl at 8:08 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


My buddy trains with him here in Seoul.

The story of the back-punch DQ is hilarious--he had no idea it was against the rules in that fight.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:41 PM on April 28, 2010


It must be tough for fighters to keep track of what they can and can't do in different fights in different leagues (or whatever they're called), especially when they may not speak the language of the referee. In one of the above linked videos, it seems that clinching was not allowed - the ref kept separating them when they would get locked up. That's one I've never seen. I always find the starting and stopping of K1 to be distracting, too... I guess I'm just used to the UFC.
posted by dammitjim at 8:55 PM on April 28, 2010


An essay on the lack of technicality in the Jung/Garcia fight.

Garcia vs. Jung followed close on the heels of several high-profile, promising, and ultimately stale fights. MMA paragons Georges St. Pierre, Gilbert Melendez, and Jake Shields all, in recent weeks and months, emerged from the ring triumphant, but left us somehow disappointed. Looking back it seems that their performances were so flawless as to become near-lifeless. Their fights were cumbersome with strategy, and formulaic to the extreme. St. Pierre's unending assault of double-leg takedowns, or, say, Frankie Edgar's relentless hit-and-run campaign against B.J. Penn, were game plans followed so carefully as to leave the fighters looking somehow mechanical. There was no apparent passion, and raw fighting spirit in these instances seemed not paired with, but obscured by, technical prowess.

By contrast, Garcia vs. Jung seemed all passion. And while critics might say that any two bums could do what Garcia and Jung did, let me say first that I know for sure, bums cannot. It's a rare person who could throw themselves into battle with Garcia's same gleeful abandon, or slip and wing punches as tirelessly as Jung did that Saturday night. It was rough stuff, to be sure, but it was artful. And so let's take a second to say that, indeed, MMA is more than a sport. That it is, after all, art. And with that in mind, let's consider that whenever someone likens Garcia and Jung to drunken tough guys, they are committing the same error suffered by artists like Matisse and Picasso whenever some incredulous viewer claims "My 8-year-old kid could paint that."

posted by ignignokt at 9:06 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Wikipedia entry says: His nickname 'The Korean Zombie' originates from his belief that eating animal brains delivers unto him their potency.

If true, that would be more unorthodox than his fighting style.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:21 PM on April 28, 2010


If true, that would be more unorthodox than his fighting style.

It's not true.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:48 PM on April 28, 2010


"Ahh, I see. But in MMA, where leg sweeps are permissible, wouldn't dropping your hands to the middle make a certain amount of sense?"

No, as ignignokt points out. The hands defend the head, the legs defend the legs.

The main problem with dropping the hands to defend a kick is that it's hard to tell where the kick is aimed when it is first thrown. If you drop your hands and the kick was going to your head, not your legs...you have a big problem.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 12:22 AM on April 29, 2010


That was a fun watch. He seems to get by a lot of punches with staying -just- out of range and his weird angles to his punches. And, well placed laid knees and elbows for power shots.
posted by yeloson at 12:23 AM on April 29, 2010


Exciting prospect.

He's intent on training with Eddie Bravo, it'll be interesting in seeing how that goes.
posted by the cuban at 5:19 AM on April 29, 2010


I watched all those videos and I don't get what's exciting to all of you guys. perhaps it is but I don't see it. I feel like I'm in third grade again, the only one who doesn't get why everyone thinks playing soccer with a tennis ball is supposed to be great.
posted by krautland at 10:17 AM on April 29, 2010


Urijah Faber's leg, a few days after getting kicked 20 or so times.
posted by ignignokt at 10:36 AM on April 29, 2010


"He walks straight at his opponent with his chin up and exposed, hands down, and flat footed."

I'm not seeing it. Both seem to be bobbing and weaving, sometimes exposing their faces, sometimes not.

I know most of what I think is interesting is probably a snore-fest for 90% of people out there, but what the hell is the appeal of this "martial art", mixed or not?

I mean, at least a chop-socky film I know who to root for, and that they will win in the end or lose with dignity in order to save the day some other way.

#IJUSTDONTGEDDIT
posted by clvrmnky at 12:17 PM on April 29, 2010


I'm not seeing it. Both seem to be bobbing and weaving, sometimes exposing their faces, sometimes not.

Most fighters employ quite a bit more defense than these two do.

I mean, at least a chop-socky film I know who to root for, and that they will win in the end or lose with dignity in order to save the day some other way.

Sometimes there's a narrative behind a fight, sometimes there's not. This is a case in which there's really no story. It's purely about competition.

People are generally interested in seeing a fight to see how one opponent solves the problem of defeating the other. How does one fighter suppress or damage the opponent when that opponent is completely opposed to that? There's a myriad of ways to approach it, and especially at this early stage in the sport, there's a lot of surprises.

It's totally OK if you're not into that, though. I know why baseball appeals to a lot of people, yet it doesn't appeal to me at all.
posted by ignignokt at 1:33 PM on April 29, 2010


I haven't seen a lot of MMA, but that Garcia fight was by far the best I've ever seen.
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 4:48 PM on April 29, 2010


Finally got a chance to watch the Garcia clip. Now that is a great fight.

Kind of funny on the heels of the Kanehara clip where both commentators are exuding about the "constant action" (when it is mostly anything but).
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:17 PM on April 29, 2010


Heh, enthusing, rather.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:34 PM on April 29, 2010


The simplest thing to watch for for non-MMA afficionados, is the direction he's moving, and the direction his opponent is moving. Except to dodge a direct blow, he is always advancing, intent on slugging it out. His opponents are always retreating, with their back to the ropes, their "buy time and recuperate" strategies essentially useless. Frighteningly implacable, and seemingly immune to the roughest stuff his opponents dish out. An absolute monster in his ability to take a hit, and in his ability to keep coming at you without needing to rest or recover.

He's not terribly strong, tho, which is why he usually can't flat out win when trading punches: he can't put enough force into his blows. His submission moves are flashy, but sloppy and not very effective... on the other side, he's consistently able to escape or punch his way out of his opponent's holds.

In short, he's a weird fighter, in terms of physique and technique, who by rights shouldn't win, but does anyway. My favorite kind of fighter. (Butterbean was always entertaining to watch fight for similar reasons. Little fatty who would make like a punching bag for three rounds, and then KO his opponent with one hit, the only one he'd landed all night.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:36 PM on April 29, 2010


I'm a huge MMA fan and I love a good all-out brawl, but I always cringe when I hear fighters being praised for their ability to weather big punches and keep moving forward. Especially after I read this article. I'll still watch MMA, but I do have some guilt as well, knowing they're risking all sorts of brain trauma that won't show up until later in their lives. I'm also a little surprised that the UFC and other MMA organizations haven't done more to address this, never mind professional boxing. But maybe there's a side of this I'm not seeing.
posted by ga$money at 10:20 AM on April 30, 2010


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