Thursday, 21 August 2008

Dojo raiding Roger Gracies academy

The other week a bunch of us from the club went down to RGA for a open day event. None of us (except Andy) had been there before so it was abit of an adventure. We met up at the spectrum in guildford, sorted out rides and proceeded to head down and drive through mid day london. Am looking forward to seeing Can, Ollie and Jude again. Especially stoked to get the chance to meet Roger, THE roger gracie. Can is out house hunting! :O

We get their nice and prompt, abit earlier than we had been told to. Then we are told that we were give the wrong time!, we are in fact 2 hours early!.

But we dont let that get us down, we get into our battle gear and throw a medicine ball around and chill out whilst swapping training tidbits. Learnt a nice bit on Muay thai clinch work. We do abit of light rolling as a lil warm up and to have a play with with techniques we want to work on. On looking at the picture I am wondering why I grab his lapel, I dont need to pull him up and I should be keeping his hips down and keep him flat. I know I like to offer it so I can use his attack as a way to pass guard, but their must be a better way.

To make up for the confusion they invite us to join in the beginner class which starts at two. Which was very good of them, however we soon realise that we were gonna have to train for nearly 3 hours. Ollie turns up and he forgives me for writing this blog, good to see him again and plan to see him again at the upcoming comps

The regular guys start filing in as well as some people from other clubs in for the open day. Jude makes his entrance and I was genuinly happy that he remembered me and gave me a very warm welcome. Jude starts the lesson in similar fashion to what Im used to, we then pair up for some drills focusing on side control. I pair up with a woman from another club (sorry I forget your name!). The lesson focused on transitioning between position in side control and from americana to kimura. As well as trapping the arm with your legs, which made a big difference to one of my team mates game ( A very annoying and noticable difference....[he now smashes me in side control]). The lesson was great and we end it by shaking hands with everyone, which as it was the opening day, like 60 people.

We break and talk about the lesson as Roger's shadow descends on us. He is like a jiu jitsu hulk, but with an aura of approachability. He gathers us up for some group photo's, unexpectingly he also awards Nicolas Gregoriades ( of fame )his black belt!!!!. Ive only met one black belt before (Jude), and today I get to meet 5 of them! including Nick getting his black belt. Nick graciously recieves his belt and gives a very very good acceptance speech, quite uplifting. Turns out Nick is also South african, and his brother runs the Gracie Barra club in Cape town!. My day couldnt get better.

So after all this we are then given the go ahead to for the sparring madness to begin. Theres quite a few of us so the instructers and assistant instructers patrol to make sure everyones safe. We go for 5 min rounds then swap. Im determined to try and spar mostly people I havnt met before. But I have some trouble finding an opponent quick enough before everyone is snatched up. I get to spar with Ryan who is our no gi wizard, poor guy is having to don a gi today and is suffering. Give it a few sessions and Im sure he will be adapt and regain his dominance. I then stay on for the 2nd round without break to fight a guy I havnt met, he looks tough but I do well. His good at attacking but leaves enough room for me to keep on re establishing guard and he gets visibly upset. Half way through Judes timer goes off and he tells us to swap position, Im so knackered I go and sit down thinking the round is over. He comes by and asks if im ok, and tells me to go spar. I think 3 rounds in a row! madness!, but then realise Im such a lemon and go over and apoligise to my partner.
I spar against the woman I partnered with before, she is quite determined and strong willed but I impose my game on her, I feel I am using more strength than I should. As normally I would try use more technique knowing I couldnt over power my opponent. At one point I have a full blown triangle on her, I adjust, take my time and pull her head tap. I re adjust, straighten her arm, pull head down and squeeeeeeeeeze, no tap. I forgot to slide to the side so im not straight on to her, but I should be able to get it. I squeeze haaaaard, no tap. At the end of the sparring session I ask what I did wrong, she says she was just determined and it hurt her back more than choked odd, never had a problem with triangles before.
I spar probaly another 5-6 times, doing better than I thought I would. I spar my first orange belt who was at the hereford and brighton comp!. I go against a very strong guy but I weather the storm and he gets tired near the end. I get two "crouching" armbars, during the day. They are on there side and I am crouched over them with the armbar. Their hand pointing to the ceiling, my feet flat on the ground, sitting on their other side, hips facing the wall. Sadly I face no blue belts, gotta try harder for that next time.
Was a great day out, and it was free!. Hope to make the next one.

Im in the photo somewhere...


slideyfoot said...

Yeah, shame I couldn't make it, would have like to hear Nick's speech and train with some of you guys. Maybe next time: Saturdays are always difficult for me to make.

Another write-up here, for those looking for their name in lights, as Oli puts it. ;)

Alex aka El Kimura :) said...

Cool write up! It was a great day, I think I rolled with the guy you spar with in the vid below this post (blue gi). He was really good, you caught him with a nice arm bar at the end, I'll have to try that method. It was nice to meet and roll with people from the other RGA schools and meeting Roger was pretty amazing too. He's massive! hahaha.
The Martial Farts blog is my mates, he trains in Japan and wanted me to do a little guest write up of the RGA open day.