2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 12, 2005
Club turns street fighting to sport
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Athlete of the Week
Name: Becky Bernard
Hometown: Stow, Ohio
Team: Women's Gymnastics
By Daniel Greenblatt
For the Daily
Ezekile. The victim's neck is pinned between your
two forearms and pressure is applied to limit air flow.
This is only one of the many moves in Brazil-
ian jiujitsu, a martial arts form where most of the
fighting is done on the ground. In a typical match,
both fighters start out standing and then collide
like rams, holding onto each other's shoulders
until one takes down the other. Once both fighters
are on the ground, the object is to inflict as much
pain as possible until the other fighter taps out.
The competitors get themselves into twists and
tangles, rolling and tumbling in every which way.
Points are awarded based on how well the fighters
perform. If time runs out, the fighter with the most
At Michigan, the Brazilian jiujitsu team is led
by senior president Doug Broege and sophomore
vice president Lynn Ciarelli and meets on Tuesday
and Thursday evenings in the Intramural Sports
Building. An additional women's class meets on
The team just finished fighting in the Great Lakes
Brazilian Jiujitsu Championships and joined forces
with the Focus team, a local team, to take home third
place overall. One highlight of the event was newcom-
er Scott Liles's silver medal.
"Iwas glad I finally won one. It was my first tourna-
ment win," Liles said.
Broege agreed that Liles has shown tremendous
improvement this year. Ciarelli choked somebody
unconscious with the Ezekile-move. Knockouts are a
legal but rare occurrence in Brazilian jiujitsu.
"(Ciarelli) is one of the best grapplers we have,"
Competition has two main events: gi and no-gi.
In gi, the fighters wear a baggy fighting outfit called
a gi. It may seem to have little effect on the fighting
situation, but the gi can be used in many moves. For
example, a fighter will often use an opponent's gi for
choking, or he will use his own gi to reinforce a grip.
Besides being separated into gi and no-gi events, fight-
ers are also matched based on weight class, unless they
choose to compete in the absolute event, where any
fighter is allowed to participate, regardless of weight
The background of the team is very diverse. The
field consists of wrestlers, judo and akido black belts,
as well as people with no fighting experience at all.
Some people join to create a solid foundation of self-
defense, while others participate to fine-tune fighting
"There are some people that can kick anybody's ass
in here." Ciarelli said.
The previous fighting skills that people come in
with usually work to their advantage. Broege feels this
way about the sophomore competition team captain,
"(Boynton) wins most of his matches because he is
such a good wrestler," Broege said.
On the contrary, some fighters get into trouble
because of bad fighting habits. Because wrestlers do
not like to be on their backs, they will often try to roll
over, which will cost them the match.
Brazilian jiujitsu effectively mimics real fighting.
Most other martial art forms focus on kicking and
punching, while Brazilian jiujitsu has more to do with
grabbing and floor fighting. In a typical street fight,
this is more like what will happen. Besides being real-
istic, Brazilian jiujitsu also offers the benefit of full-
"You can only throw a punch so hard when boxing
with a friend," Broege said.
Training at full force allows fighters to improve,
since they do not have to hold anything back. In fact,
almost all of the professional fighters on television are
expertly trained in Brazilian jiujitsu.
"When I watch (television) I say, 'Oh, I know how
to do that!" Lynn said.
Many of the fighters will use moves that are com-
monly performed in class, such as the arm bar, in
which the elbow of the opponent is locked between the
fighter's legs and is then hyperextended with the force
of the fighter's arms Broege and Ciarelli both agree
that Brazilian jiujitsu is the superior martial art form.
When asked how the team compared to last year,
Ciarelli had a less than formal response.
"Awesome," she said.
Broege is also satisfied with the progress the team
has made this year.
"We are in the process of rebuilding a competition
team," Broege said.
There are several key players this year. Sophomore
Anna de Caneva is one of the many excellent fighters
on the team.
"She may look small, but she's a tough little cook-
ie," Ciarelli said.
De Caneva is especially skilled in takedowns,
which is beneficial because a takedown gives an edge
right from the beginning of the fight. Another valuable
member of the team is Mondeng, who, at a measly 125
pounds, defeated a gargantuan 250-pound competi-
The Michigan Brazilian jiujitsu team has shown
perseverance and dedication and will continue to
strive to be the best.
Why: Bernard, just a freshman, led the Blue team to victory
in the intrasquad scrimmage this weekend. She won the beam
(9.825) and placed third on the bars (9.825).
12/13 W Basketball vs. Florida
M Basketball vs. UCLA
W Basketball vs. Nebraska
at Maize and Blue Intrasquad
12/22 M Basketball vs. Miami (Ohio)
12/23 W Basketball at St. Bonaventure St. Bonaventure, N.Y.
12/28 M Basketball vs. Coppin State A
12/29 Ice Hockey vs. Colorado College I
at Great Lakes Invitational
12/29 W Basketball at Illinois Ch
12/30 Ice Hockey at GLII
vs. Michigan State or Michigan Tech
12/31 M Basketball vs. Chicago State A
1/1 W Basketball at Michigan State Eas
Wrestling at Hofstra
M Basketball at Indiana
Wrestling vs. Cornell
0 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
not needed for
By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Editor
For seemingly the first time since its inception prior to the 1998
season, the BCS has avoided controversy this bowl season. South-
ern Cal and Texas, the top two teams since the start of the year, are
the only two undefeated programs remaining in Division I college
football. So when the two meet in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4, it'll be
the matchup most of the country has been waiting to see.
But if it were up to the University's Juyong Park and Mark New-
man, Southern Cal wouldn't be playing in the Rose Bowl. Park and
Newman, two University physicists, have developed a new system
to rank college football teams, and according to their method, Penn
State (10-1) deserves a spot in the national championship game.
The new method is more basic and principled than current com-
puter rankings, said Newman, an associate professor of physics
who is not a football fan.
"It would be possible to add extra bells and whistles," he said.
"But right now, it's very simple."
The system is based off the idea that, if team A beats team B
and team B beats team C, then A beats C. A team gets points for
direct wins and also receives a fraction of a point for indirect wins
- when a team they beat defeats someone else. And it doesn't stop
"You can do the math all the way out to infinity," Newman said.
"That's the trick."
Each team also gets negative points for losses - both direct and
The current BCS system combines six computer systems and two
human polls to come up with the final rankings. Each of the computers
uses a different method to come up with the best team - and some of
the methods are extremely complicated. Newman and Park pride them-
selves on the fact that their system is very simple and transparent.
"The only thing we care about is the strength of schedule," said
Park, a doctoral student.
As an example, he explained that, even though it was a big risk
for Texas and Ohio State to play each other in the second game of
the season, it actually helped both teams. Texas got a big boost in
the rankings for beating a quality opponent with a lot of wins, and
Ohio State didn't lose much because Texas went undefeated. Teams
that suffer are ones that don't play any tough opponents, Park said.
If nothing else, their system might force good teams to play a
tougher schedule, he added.
"There's a difference between how good teams are perceived to be
and how good they actually show themselves to be;' Newman said.
Neither Park nor Newman has had any contact with the BCS
about possibly incorporating their rankings into the current system
in the future. No one from the BCS committee would comment,
but Mike Reilley, who handles media relations for the BCS, said the
BCS does look at new systems.
"Keep in mind that the BCS formula is pretty much set, but it
does get tweaking from year to year," he said.
Newman and Park started working on their system around this
time last year, when there was controversy surrounding which two
undefeated teams should play in the national championship game.
Southern Cal defeated Oklahoma 55-19 in the title game, while
Auburn, also undefeated, beat Virginia Tech 16-13 in the Sugar
Bowl. Many complained that Auburn didn't have a chance to com-
pete for a national title, but the system created by Newman and Park
wouldn't have changed anything. It had Oklahoma ranked No. 1
and Southern Cal coming in at No. 2. Auburn was No. 3.
Still, Park, a huge football fan, saw the controversy and won-
dered if he could come up with a better system. He has done a lot of
work with social networks and said he looks at college football as
just another network. His system uses linear algebra to determine
which team has the most influence over other teams in football and
is therefore the best in the country.
Park claims that, unlike many other computer ranking systems,
his method is based entirely in mathematics. It also only takes the
current season into account.
"Just because they've been doing very well for five years doesn't
mean they're the best team this season," Park said.
That might help account for Southern Cal's drop in the rankings.
The Trojans, defending national champions two years in a row, have
been the consensus No. 1 team in the country since preseason. But
playing in the weak Pac-10 has hurt them in the system developed
Women's soccer team
Gift: An extra goal per game
Why: It would have resulted
in four more wins and
five more ties, giving them a
final record of 12-4-5 and an
NCAA Tournament bid. The
team finished 8-9-4, keeping
it out of the tournament.
Gift: A win
Why: They haven't
- ever. 0-8.
Gift: An apology
Why: We gave
it a D+
on our report
card two weeks
ago. Not cool.
Gift: A trophy
Why: To hold all its
To: Ice hockey
Gift: La-Z-Boy chair
Why: For something
sit on during all
that time he spends
in the penalty box.
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