My friend Terry was awesome enough to take me to another club he had trained at previously. Run by blackbelt Steve Haydock, which recently joined the carlson gracie family. Check their website out.
Steve also does a crossfit session so there were plenty of ropes and some sort of strange roof scaffolding for pull up type exercises presumably. Not a huge room but provided easily enough room for the class. Class consisted of almost equal amounts of blue and purples with a smattering of white belts. Also included the first ever female purple belt Ive met. Everyone seemed to be pretty built (crossfit helping no doubt), which indicates to me that they dont mess around with training.
The lesson focused on chokes from the back - more details on that later.
Everyone was pretty cool and chatty, and we got on well. Got to roll with Steve, who played a little bit of catch and release with me whilst slowly killing my soul with pressure from the top. Ended up sparring him a few times which was great, tried some outrageous moves as I was pretty sure I wasnt gonna catch him with anything orthodox. This included trying to cartwheel to his back from kneeling, kicking his knee back to pull him into a loop choke, a crazy judo choke from underneath side control. This normaly resulted in me being punished with knee on belly and taken apart. Fought some of the other purples which was fun, held out abit more but still got caught. Got a compliment from one of the purples of a pass I did against one of the whites, so was chuffed with that (the compliment, not passing the whites guard :P). Caught an elbow at one point and bit my tongue, still not keen on a gumshield though.
All in all a great class, Steve is a really cool guy and these guys train hard. Again I would reccomend this club. I need to find some man drama or this will make for a boring final write up!
You can see that crazy apparatus I was talking about on the ceiling.
Going back to the techniques we drilled, learnt quite abit.
First was the clock choke grip type choke which I knew well.
Next was a choke I had seen in some books but never really learnt it myself:
And 3rd in the series was something Ive never seen or heard of. Talking to Steve afterwards he said it was something he came up with for himself, Im sure others know it as well but I dont think its well known at all.
Same single collar grip as before but it can be very loose (the genius of this sub is in how loose it can be). Open up your right leg and put it to the ground, this will give them room to escape out that side. Its a crafty trap so let them. As they escape come up onto your knee's, keeping the grip and putting your shoulder behind their head. Over hook their left arm and bring it to the ground while you pull down on the collar and raise your shoulder - which raised their head. The choke is tight! and all that extra room in the loose lapel grip is taken up as it wraps around their neck. Cant wait to use it. Devious!
Next stop Carlson Gracie Hammersmith and hopefully somewhere else the same day if I can find one that has a class after.