Been teaching a 2nd daily class with some younger boys (around 11-13), Ive had to be abit more carefull teaching submissions and have been keeping a very close eye. Most of them are ok but Ive had to tell one off for goofing off abit to much, where someone could get hurt. Other than that its been really fun, they love doing the hard warm ups even though it kills them. I can see them already getting abit more comfortable and learning a little bit of control. Not spazzing out so much.
I decided to have a mini tournemount, with first to score a controlled take down the winner. Was a great success and they really enjoyed it, the smaller kids found it very tough against the bigger ones but they never gave up. Only one disqualification. I told them to start each match with a hand slap and fist bump (or handshake), he went for a handshake and then whipped the guy round over his hip. Was a really good throw! Best of the comp by far but I had to disqualify him for “bad manners” as we say in the orphanage. We all laughed though and he was happy enough with the throw.
This really got them motivated for further stand up practice and I could see them forming some individual styles. So with this success I did another comp. This one starting on knee’s and ended with the first to get a sweep or takedown (or take the back) and hold it for 3 seconds. This again worked really well with some upsets from the smaller guys. The champ from the last comp ended up losing in the final after 3 minutes of escapes, roll overs and 2 second pins. Most wins were by guard passing. Only one disqualification. I gave a first warning after he was setting up a RNC and I took him out after he tried a hammed up armtriangle. A shame as I don’t like to tell them off for sub attempts but I told them no subs in this comp. They loved it though and the WWE 3 second counts were fun.
Only slight hiccup is when Akmed challenged me to a superfight. Akmed is another volunteer from Egypt, finished his army service a few years ago and plays competitive volleyball. He is close to my size and weight though. Am worried his ego might make him a sore loser but decide to give him the benefit of the doubt. We play with the same rules and I decide to show the kids how to relax and handle someone aggressive. I pull guard and he tries for a stack pass of sorts. I hook his leg with my arm and make my hips heavy and straight arm his shoulder. I free my leg and then finish the pendulum sweep, he bucks like mad but I stay on top. Straight after he wants a re match. This time I want to show them control from the top. So I clinch, spin to the side and put him on his back, hop over his legs and then hop into mount, and hold for 3. His a good loser but complains he didn’t know how to do anything… . But he appreciates BJJ abit more now I think. I think the match would have been abit more… tense if we threw in submissions as well, as theres no escape for the ego then. The kids really went mad for this one.
Next lesson I decide to work on some of the mistakes I saw common in their matches. On holding guard, stand up passing, counter/sweep to stand up pass and grip fighting.
I decide to try an experiment and I roll with each of the kids (about 5 of them today – varies from 4 to 12). The aim for them to pass my guard, starting from knee’s or standing their choice. And I have to sweep or transition using only my legs. I have an unfair advantage with my strength and size but I try as hard as I can to minimalise it by playing off my back and being gentle. I used a de la riva hook 90% and managed to flip them all over or take their back in a various ways. They loved it though and kept on cueing up for another go. Around the 5th roll they start to grab my ankles and try and escape the hook, which I was happy to see. I think I will try this drill again against people my own size at the club and see what I learn.
I let them do some gentle free rolling as I watch from the side. I saw one of the smallest boys transition from under side control to under half guard to his opponents back and put on a RNC, against one of the bigger boys. This made me very happy, as I told him to relax and stay calm to find an opening and he listened well and made it work. Ive always liked to help people with stuff but now I really see the rewards teaching can bring.