Sunday, 29 March 2009

A Quick Update

I have been very busy with university work this week with several deadlines coming up and havn't had time to check the blog out. So I was pleasantly suprised to see there is a (very) modest amount of traffic on the site! Yay! It should be getting much more interesting on here in the next couple weeks as I have a competition coming up next week and then a trip back to Bahrain where I'll get to train with the guys at Team Reza. Bring on the hardcore training! This is just a quick update to tell everyone to keep reading as there is going to be loads on here very, very soon! Here are some pics of Rach finishing her Bristol Open final fight with an ezekiel choke, right as her opponent was tapping. Well done Rach!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Cardio for Jiujitsu

Alot of people seem to gas when we roll during class. Like really gas. Like hyperventilating gas. They start by going all red around 3 minutes into the round. Then a vein begins to throb in their forehead as they start foaming at the mouth and their eyes bulge like fish. Yes. Just like fish.

Is it unfair that we judge people who don't train as hard or as often as we do? I don't think it is...

Anyway, as the Brighton BJJ competition is approaching in a few weeks, we decided to start two extra classes a week focusing just on cardio for BJJ. Some of the guys have MMA fights soon, while some of us have BJJ tournaments and others just want to improve their game. So now we have BJJ classes 3 times a week with 2 additional cardio classes. And this is only at Canton Gym! There is also the saturday Sparta Gym class, the sunday BTT slough class and the ZT fight school BJJ class on the other days! Alot of training do to, alot of classes to attend, alot of stuff to think about.

Today was the first cardio class. My girlfriend is in her last year of a sport and exercise science degree so she put together a class to improve both aerobic and anaerobic cardio applied to BJJ. We started off with half an hour of constant drills such as frog jumps, prayer jumped, seated leg jumps, bear crawls, crab walks, high knees, butt kickers, breakfalls, front roles, back roles, kart wheels, take down shuffles and a bunch of other stuff. It was a constant tempo which slowly got everyone sweating like crazy and breathing hard at the end. Then we did some stretching to bring everyone's heart rate down before doing some anaerobic drills. These were 3 intense circuits, 6 minutes a circuit with explosive exercises like sprawls, burpies, running man, knee to chest jumps, etc. The class was rounded off by doing 50 frog jump/ take downs. It probably doesn't sound like much in writing but it worked very well and it felt me with a feeling of anticipation. If everyone keeps this up there won't be anymore red faces, throbbing veins, foaming mouths or bulging fish eyes...

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Training at BTT Slough

This Sunday me, Rach and Tolly drove up to Slough to train with Ze Marcello at one of his BTT schools. Unfortunately he wasnt there (he is quite busy, always doing seminars and travelling) so there was only around 10 people training. We try and go up to London to train once or twice a week as the level is very high and there are many more people to roll with. Not only that but there are at least 4-5 purple belts in every class as well as a good amount of blue belts! I always enjoy going up there to train as its so nice to be able to roll with different people with different gameplans. We left a little late, but the drive up there went smoothly with no traffic and it was a nice day with the sun out. We arrived there quite late, only having time to jump in for the sparring, which had just started.

Sparring with the Slough crowd is always great as I feel I push myself that little bit harder to get the tap. When we roll back in Eastbourne I always am trying to get a certain position, submission or try to acheive a pre arranged target. I think if you just constantly roll just to win your not taking advantage of what 'sparing time' is really about. For me, I like to decide before training an aspect of my game which I want to work and when its time to roll, work that position or submission as much as I can. But when we train in Slough, its all about the tap! Slough is like a mini tournament for me where I can test myself against new people and see where I stand and if what I have been practicing is working or not. I always try and roll with the blue or purple belts to see if my game works - if it works on a bluebelt then its probably going to work on a white belt! Anyway, today was a successful training session as I managed to tap 2 blue belts with my baseball bat choke from side (I must have been grinning from ear to ear as they jumped into side control!) and then got another blue belt with a north/ south choke. Not a bad day at all! I could have got quite a few more taps (I had around 7 rolls) with the baseball bat choke but a few got away by getting knee on belly and pushing away. Regardless its definitely a move that works and something I am going to keep working on!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

The Ultimate Fighter series 9

The new 'The Ultimate Fighter' series (9) is going to air on 1st april and pits UK and USA teams against each other for the first time! This season is particularily exciting for me as last summer I went to train in Thailand at the Tiger Muay Thai camp, in Phuket. They had a really good MMA class run by Ray Elbe, which was my first serious dip into the waters of grappling. It was a great experience and I learnt alot in that short month.

Reading the Asia BJJ blog I saw that Ray Elbe will be part of the USA team for TUF 9! Its going to be really cool watching the program now that someone I have met and trained under is going to be on it!

On a separate note, today was quite a chilled day. I got to sleep a bit later than usual this morning before heading to university for a few hours. We are going to an indian restaurant for dinner tonight to meet up with some friends and get some good chow. Starting tomorrow I am going to keep an eye on my weight at start bringing it back down to under 74kg for the Brighton competition.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Bits and Bobs

I decided to change the name of my blog to something a bit more original so that later on, when this blog is hopefully more successful, I won't need to worry about the name being a reference to a local gym. It is still early days so no harm done!

So whats been going on with training? Well Monday was a good BJJ session where we started going over knee on belly and a few chokes from this position. Ever since the Bristol competition I keep feeling a pull on the outer side of my abs. Knee on belly really seemed to irritate this and made it really uncomfortable. The thing is I have the Brighto Open competition in 3 weeks and I can't afford to take a week off to let it heal. I am hoping that I'll be ok till the competition and then I can recover when its all done and dusted. On Tuesday me and some of the guys got together to help Tolly train for his MMA fight in April and did some no gi grappling as well as worked takedowns. No gi is so refreshing after wearing a gi all the time! We had a good session but I need to try and work on some no gi submissions and sweeps when I get the chance. On Wednesday we continued with the knee on belly position, adding another choke and an armbar which all worked really well.

In today's sparring session I decided that I was going to try and get all the submissions I like to use from guard, north/ south and mount. For guard these are: triangle, arm triangle and the new baseball bat choke. North/ south: Tolly's choke, baseball bat choke, Mount: arm triangle, ezekiel choke and settig up a transition back to guard with a triangle submission. As you can see I like triangles, arm triangles and that new baseball bat choke alot! Anyway, today we only had one round of rolling and I was paired with a beginner. Even though I only had five minutes I managed to get all my guard submissions and north/ south positions before he complained his neck was sore and we had to stop with 2 minutes to go! Oh well, on Saturday there will be two classes and a larger variety of opponents so I will continue to try and get all my submissions in one rolling session.

I think its a good way to work my submissions and I won't only focus on one position too much. These days I am feeling a bit drained and more sore than usual, probably due to having to wake up really early everyday, having alot of university work due very soon and the endless training. Having this pulled ab isnt helping things either. Luckily tomorrow is my break day so it will let me recover a bit.

On a separate note I found a good picture of me getting my three stripes on my white belt over Christmas and thought I'd put it up! Note the huge judo gi.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Baseball Bat Choke

On Saturday I had a long, long training day! It started off in the morning with 1.5 hours at Canton Martial Arts. It was a good open mat session where we got to start from standing, giving me a good opportunity to work some takedowns. I got a nice north/ south choke a couple times (new move that my instructor showed me and I am trying out so no one saw it coming!)and got a triangle from transitioning from mount. After this me and rach went home and got some food. I decided to go to the next calss my instructor was teaching at a different gym. We went through a guard position which is the starting point of many submissions. One hand loops over the opponents are and holds onto their gi, keeping them very close to you. From here we worked a three finger choke, lapel choke, armbar and sweep. We then rolled for half hour and I got my north/ south choke again and another triangle, before I had to roll with my instructor and got my ass handed to me! Once the class finished everyone paid and left but Tolly asked me to hang around, along with one of his blue belts and a guy with loads of wrestling background. His two of the guys have up coming MMA fights, we rolled no gi for another 45 mins. Its great rolling with these guys as the level is so much higher and I learn so much more when I am tapping compared to submitting people. By the time I stumbled back home I was completely toast and ended up taking a nice bubble bath, making some good white chocolate cookies, and watching TV with Rach.

Anyway, I drifted a bit. In fact I havnt drifted as I havnt even said what I originally wanted to rant on about yet! In the last rolling session of the day, I got caught with a baseball bat choke a couple times before catching on to what was actually going on. When I got home I googled the move and found out you can do it by allowing your opponent to get side control! How cool is that?! Anyway, long story short, I got all excited and watched all the videos I could find and have decided I am going to try and work this move as much as I can in the coming weeks. It seems to come on super quick and catches people by suprise. I tried it out on Rach a few times an was suprised on how good it was! So tomorrow at class I am just going to try and catch everyone with the basebal bat choke, whether from standing, guard or half guard. Heres a video:

Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza

Well now that my blogging skills are evolving and I can upload videos there are a few things I want to share! I recently came across a highlight video of ronaldo 'jacare' souza and thought 'WOW' this guy can kick some serious ass! Now when ever I roll I judge everyone, including myself, on how 'jacare' they are. I googled him a few times but I couldn't find anymore info on him apart from some other videos.

Bristol Open fight 2

This was my second fight - I am fighting in the white gi. The first match was really boring anyway with me scoring points for the takedown and then not much else happened.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Bristol Open

Well the Bristol Open came and went and what an experience! We left at 4am in the morning to get there for 9am. After briefly stopping at the petrol station we all relaxed and settled down for the long journey, only for the car to stall not even ten minutes later! Apparently one of the guys put petrol instead of diesel in the car! A full tank too! We ended up having to push the car into the next car park, get a taxi back to someones house and then use a different car. Eventually we made it to Bristol. We knew we were in the right place because where else would you see a bunch of people walking around in kimonos at 9am in the morning on a saturday?!

First thing that struck me was the amount of people there! There must have been over 400 people milling around and waiting to start. We wondered round for a bit, said hello to the organiser (Pedro Bessa) and eventually found the rest of the Brazilian Top Team Ze Marcello. They had four mats set out for the day and lots of space for everyone else to watch and relax until their fight came up. Suprisingly, they called light weight white belts quite quickly and before I knew it I was on the scale and being told to warm up. I dont think I'v ever been so nervous before! My first match I got the takedown, and then proceeded to forget almost everything I'v learn't over the past 7 months! The match stayed in his guard the whole time, went to half guard for a bit and then back to guard. I eventually won on points. My second fight went much better. I pulled guard , secured a nice arm triangle, swept to mount, took back and got a RNC just as time was called. Luckily my girlfriend filmed this match so I'll upload it later on today along with some pictures of the day. My third fight started off with having a takedown scored against me, a pass and then mount. Not the best start! I managed to get my own sweep, pass and then like a complete idiot I got mount. But instead of holding it for 3 seconds I went straight for an armbar (which I didnt get) and missed out on the points. Eventually I tapped from an ezekiel choke - not my proudest moment haha.

Anyway, as a first competition I was really happy with the way things went. I got my feet wet, won a few fights and had a blast watching everyone else fight. My girlfriend won her weight class and then the absolute, walking away with two chunky gold medals! Well done Rach! It was great to feel part of the BTT team and have some big names in my corner such as Ze Marcello. Thanks to everyone who was screaming at me and telling me what to do especially Tolly, Ze, Rach, Dave, Rory and Chin!

Next month there is another competition (smaller than the bristol open) in Brighton which is half an hour away! Starting saturday I need to work on takedowns and developing my game plan to work a bit better in competitions!