Thursday, 28 May 2009

Judo and new things at Andy Roberts Farnborough

Couldnt make the stop in Birmingham in the end, so gonna try do another London excursion and hopefully make 2 in a day.

Due to myself and some of the other blue's helping as assistant instructers at the club we have been able to expand the timetable. One of the benefits (besides being able to train more) is that we can vary the training for the wednesday session. For instance James Hardy is a physical trainer and is going to be doing a conditioning class. Andy is going to be doing no gi training (I learnt to pummel!). And Kieran Rice will be doing a judo class (his a 2nd dan). The only downside is with peoples schedules these classes arnt as often as I would like, especially the judo. Kieran is looking to do a BJA coaching course so that he can then formally grade in judo as things are much more tightly controlled than in BJJ.

Main thing I wanted to talk about was Kierans Judo lesson which I attended last night. My first martial art was judo but it was a long long time ago and its only with BJJ that things are coming back to me and the spark of interest has returned. Really really good class. As a teacher Kieran is very informal and flexable, he made an effort to teach judo for BJJ rather than just pure judo. Kierans competed a fair few times in bjj so his learnt alot on adapting it. For example he told us that when gripping the arm judoka preffered to grip lower down on the sleeve, but for BJJ he reccomended higher up near the bicep so as to be able to control the arm once finished the throw. To give you the option of a armbar, as most judoka wont think passed the throw.

I have a tendency to go down with my opponent after a throw, as I like to follow through with the momentum and knock the wind out of them. But in a BJJ sense this occasionally means my momentum carries me to far and I end up giving up back as a reward for the throw!

The biggest problem I have when standing with my opponent (and I think everyone runs into this) is when they hunch low and straight arm me, as is default in BJJ. Kieran got us training specifically for this. He taught us 2 grip breaks and got us doing them with some resistance, he also got us lifting our opponent up onto their toes and opening there arms. Without these 2 things you are giving your opponent to many advantages and your more likely to get thrown or definitely stuffed when attempting a takedown. Decided I will start training the pull up technique with some resistance bands.

Throw wise we did seio nage,otoshi, some version of otoshi with the arm over the head, tai otoshi and 2 counters when they step out to defend the tai otoshi.

Enjoyed the class a massively and would be happy to go back to brand new spanking white if we could get the class going atleast once a week.

I give you sexy judo!:

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

ZT fight skool Crawley

Found this club completely out the blue, currently it isnt on slideyfoots map which Im using. Probaly as its only 2 weeks old. I wasnt doing anything so decided to go down last night.

Walked 30 mins down a road heading for Brighton before having to enter a forrest! the club venue was one of the 30 odd huts located here, oddly enough quite a few of them being martial arts clubs. Met Yousuf Nabi a purple who was taking the class (head instructer is Ivam Maciel), really nice guy and around my build. Did a good warm up, aspects of which I plan to steal as I like to vary the warm ups alot. Since the club was so new the classes were still small but a few blues had come up from their main Brighton club. Yousuf and another blue had both trained under Marcio Gomes who I met at RGA wimbledon.

Zt fight skool have a curriculum system Ive not heard of before. They teach techniques on a single position for the whole week across all their schools. This week was north south and we did 2 chokes from there. Both were technical and used alot of pressure, nothing flashy but I think perhaps difficult for the beginners. Yousuf was attentive though and walked around giving everyone pointers and helping us out if we ran into problems. We then did some sparring, worked my current laid back style and no one tried to rip my head off. Well someone did try to finish an arm triangle on me after I had mounted them but they were new. Unfortuantly didnt have time to roll with Yousuf as we were running late and another class was starting.

All in all, enjoyed myself alot and really got on well with Yousuf. The crawley club is run by Saied Golamine who is their wrestling coach, and by the look of his ears a very good asset. They also offer MMA which is the main focus of fight skool but the BJJ is strong with them.

Their main school is their Brighton venue, which I will hit as well. I must admit I had reservations about a place that used the word "skool", but I think they are trying to form a strong brand and are using it more for advertising purposes. Check their website here:

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Poll, training,twitter and new pilgrimage targets

Just made a poll asking about whether any of you guys out there would consider buying a patch to support my bjj pilgrimage?. The main big cost is travel at the moment and if I was able to offset that then I could ramp up the pilgrimage. At this rate we are looking at 2-3 years! . Black eagle are soon to be releasing a custom patch service so I was planning on taking advantage of it. Currently Im brainstorming design idea's as I want it to look cool enough for people to want it for its own merit. Depending on how much black eagle charge Im hoping to sell for £5 a patch. If I can get an idea of how many people like the idea, then I can justify an initial investment.

Another possible idea is doing a T-shirt, with any interested sponsors going on the back. Talking of which I need to approach some people if they would be interested in buying ad space on my gi...

In training news!

Focusing a great deal on my bottom game at the moment, especially butterfly and deeeeeeep half guard. Slightly flirting with x-guard, as everytime I get it I go all he-man and can barely resist shouting "I HAVE THE POWAAAAH!". Found this beauty, concerning x-guard:

Marcelo Garcia x-gaurd series

Am completely rehauling my passing game as their were some fundemental flaws that I was getting away with on lower level opponents, that just dont fly now. As such its weaker but hopefully will improve fast on a more solid foundation.

Balance balls are great! done only a tiny bit of work on them but have already felt some benefits to my top control. Andre Galvao initially lit my balance ball fire:

Didnt realise Martial Farts was to thank for this video! So thanks!

Heres something to aspire to:

In teaching news!:

Im loving it. Although I do worry about making sure its a good lesson and that people are enjoying it and learning correctly. But so far whenever Ive been asked questions about the techniques Ive felt comfortable in giving what I think is the right advice. So far no complaints and Im certainly getting alot out of it.

Pilgrimage news!:

Going up to Worcester again this weekend, will do a club in the Birmingham or Hereford area hopefully!. Terry my faithfull friend has also offered to drive me to Exeter! where there is another club under Italo's banner.

In other news!:

Im now on twitter! . Because all the cool kids are. seems interesting . Noticed some of my articles show up on there, wonder if its automated or if a human chooses the stories.

Over and out. Strictly speaking in radio terms you cant be over and out, as over means your still carrying on the conversation and out means your not...

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Bullshido throwdown and updates

May 3rd I hosted a bullshido throwdown at the Farnborough Andy roberts club (my club). It unfortuantly clashed with the Essex BJJ competition. These throwdowns also seem to primarily consist of BJJ guys. But we still got a few guys down, Mark Curry from Ireland as previously mentioned, Can sonmez (slideyfoot), Alan (madgrenade - a kung fu guy) and 2 of my guys James hardy and Sid (also a judo guy). Did a little bit of boxing with Alan but focused primarily on the grappling.

Mark specialises in no gi so it was a great chance for me to get some pointers on that as my no gi game is considerably weaker. Got my ass kicked abit but picked up an important tip on head placement. Mine seems to hover in the middle between pinning them with my head and good posture, which meant guillotines. Which I normaly dont mind as I just then goto my von flue counter, but it doesnt work against good guys who can keep you in their legs.

Rolled with Can which I was looking forward to after the oxford throwdown so long ago. He broke my posture really well and was alot stronger than he looked. I went for my default game when I dont know much about my opponent. Pass guard, mount, cross choke. Managed 2/3 as I just couldnt get the choke quite tight enough so I wouldnt have to waste a ton of strength trying to crank it on. Similar deal with the baseball choke. Whilst playing this top game however I nearly got subbed 3 times by reverse triangles!. But managed to find breathing room and keep my arm safe each time and escape. Not to sure how I was offering up these triangles, maybe cruising to low on his hips rather than on his chest. Went to knee on belly so I could then work something abit more dynamic and keep my head clear but we decided to call it then.

Rolled with Alan but was more of a focus on showing him the different aspects of bjj, he wasnt to bad for a complete beginner though so hopes he thinks about doing some sort of grappling.

After 3 or so hours of rolling, talking and showing each other stuff we called it a day and got some food. Me and Mark then went to get our train, had to wait in a local pub amongst the very chavvy making me feel embarresed to share the same country. I mean seriously wtf. The rest of the evening consisted of hazelnut liquer in coke showing each other our favourite bjj youtube clips.

Thanks to Slideyfoot for the picture!

From right to left: Alan, James, Mark, Can, Jadon
You can see his write up:
So update wise, am currently in worcester and have so many things to put up but its hard finding the time. Want to talk about my crazy 30 year old judo manuel. An idea for graphing grappling ability (inspired by prides spidergram). Am currently experimenting with x guard and loving it!. Helping instruct some of the beginner classes, having lots of fun and learning a fair bit. The pilgrimage is definitely helping me improve, just need to decide on the next stop now. Probaly one around london got some offers for lifts which will be very usefull. A bunch of comps at the moment should definitely enter one, would of been essex if not for the throwdown. Maybe UMA or grapplers showdown for no gi. So you can look forward to all that and more!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

RGA Kilburn and London

My hands feel like they belong to someone 3 times my age.

Hosted a "bullshido" throwdown at the academy the day before. Essentially a bunch of angry young geeks who like to fight abit. Mark Curry came over from Ireland so I put him up. His flight was only in the evening so he wanted to do a lunchtime training class. He wanted to goto carlsons hammersmith but as I needed them for the tour wanted to attend a proper evening class. So looked around phoned Mario Reis's place but I got a solemn" no mah fren is bank holiday". So decided back on hammersmith, very foolishy I didnt check if they were going to be open (as it was bank holiday), and when we got there it was closed .

So phoned RGA and checked it was open and made our way there. Nick Brooks (RGA Mill hill instructer and brown belt)was there which was awesome and really helped us out. Did some drills and some fun sparring with Nick. To the tune of junior (a massive purple belt) singing "I believe I can fly" each time Nick set up a sweep. Went for some outrageous things and had alot fun, Nick gave me some great pointers which Im annoyed at myself for not being able to remember.

Then we tried to make our way into more central london to catch a film, ran into one of the guys we just had a lesson with who was also killing time before work. Ended up watching Crank 2! - was crazy but very entertaining. Im talking shotgun up the ass crazy.

Had to then part ways with Mark and I made my way to RGA kilburn, walking around all day, training and operating on steak and cheese pasty power was taking its toll. So I got some fruit and chocolate in me before the session for some energy.

Met a cool young guy called Dan who gave me some nice pointers. Being a bank holiday there wasnt to many people but thats how I like it. Did a hard warm up and worked some stand up before moving on to some passing techniques that were new to me. Got my ass kicked in sparring and I was starting to gas abit.

Challenged Jude Samuel (black belt instructer and awesome dude) to a death match but had to settle for a light roll, where he put me through my paces constantly making me think and work hard. Stopping at parts to go over particular techniques. I also tapped to a sweep! which I thought was some sort of tortuous rib crusher.

Rolled with some more guys, all were cool and relaxed and focused on trying to learn rather than win.

Back to Jude for more of a beasting and I learnt a huge amount. I was dead but he kept me moving and he told me training at this point is more important than when fresh, because this is where it counts. And I realised I should try get like this every lesson, Ive been to relaxed about pushing myself. Another thing I realised is I hide behind being nice to the less experienced but I should pull the trigger more.

Learnt some great fundementals this weekend and its made me realise what I need to do now to get to the next level.

On the academy - with its high street location it is prestine, very cool venue with plenty of confused bystanders watching outside. The neatest and most clean cut so far. Jude is Jude and other than being a monster on the mats (multiple euro champ)is also where I set the bar in terms of instructing, friendlyness and attitude.

Long day! left at 9am and got home past midnight. Training tuesday and wednesday as well.

My brain is swimming with new things, I need some time to absorb it all.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

My Brighton fight, news and thoughts

Its just been put up so been watching it. Thought I was like 30 000 points down, didnt realise at the time that all I needed was to pass and hold position. Annoying, happy with the escapes although perhaps I should of put myself in the subs to begin with. Still was a fun fight and Ive learnt alot from it. The pass was there! . Specifically my passing and half guard passing.

The fight here if the embed doesnt work.

In other news, hosting a Bulshido throwdown at my club this sunday!. If your about come join us. Thread details HERE .

Should also be doing some pilgrimage stops in london on monday, hopefully looking at 2 clubs!. Been trying to think of how I can drum up some money from doing the pilgrimage in order to help pay for all the travel. Someone suggested asking the clubs to pay some of my travel costs in return for a review and maybe some extra acknowledgement. The trick it seems is getting some clubs to do it first so that the others are tempted to follow suit.

Other than that maybe I could search for sponsorship from local businesses?. 150 odd clubs (minus the 7 Ive already been to). Average class seems to be around 20, so thats around 3000 people spread all over the country that will see me and take notice of me. So perhaps I could use that to justify myself as ad space?. I know Ive had 4-5 inquiries into my faixa rua gi since wearing it for each of the stops, so people definitely take notice. I try thank the whole class at the end of the lesson and ask them if they would join me for the picture.

I could try a sponsored super pilgrimage and see how many clubs I could hit in rapid succession over a week?. If I had the travel money and support I could do probaly 14 clubs (around 24ish in london). Although I would be feeling pretty dire after.