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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

24 August 2004

Training Log: MMA

(Returning to England in June, I began by training at a local kickboxing club I'd visited once before, and went there 2 or 3 times. I was also on the look-out for somewhere to train in London...)

Elite Fighting Systems, (MMA), Dave O'Donnell, London, UK -23/08/2004

Last Thursday I went along to Elite in Elephant & Castle, a place I'd read about and seen on TV, so was quite intrigued as to what it would be like. Took us a while to find the place, but eventually made it to the deceptively run-down building where the class is held. Despite first impressions, the gym is pretty well-equipped, with a few punching bags, plenty of mats, and loads of pads (MMA gloves, focus mitts, shin pads etc).

Dave came over to greet us, and then set us to work skipping. Soon realising we couldn’t skip for @#%$, he started the first drill, which was basically an opportunity for him to see how we were at falling down then getting up again. Dave showed us a basic breakfall, then how to get up again whilst keeping aware of the opponent (which resulted in us scuttling round until there was an opportunity to get up). We then went off to practice that amongst ourselves.

This moved on to attempts at passing the guard. Eventually one of the other members of the class pitched in to help, showing us more advanced technique. After playing around with that for awhile, yet another member of the class showed us a basic move, the armbar from mount.

Then it was time to try out passing the guard on more senior members of class; I didn’t manage it on anyone except the bloke who also happened to be a beginner (having been to one class before). Again, I found the senior members very helpful with this, as one guy carefully explained how I should keep low, and stay low, when trying to pass, going into fine detail on the methodology. Still haven’t got it sorted, but plenty of time to improve – only my first class after all!

Once we’d done that, it was time for a bit more exercise. Everyone ran round the room, then when Dave called stop, we had to grab the nearest person and roll. This meant I got teamed up with some much larger and more experienced grapplers, which occasionally hurt but was a good learning experience (probably…).

Completing that, we then moved on to sprawls, different people calling at various points, shadow boxing continuously.

Dave then demonstrated various other techniques, such as chokes, and finished with my least favourite part of the class, some ‘self-defence’, which consisted of a short play with grab escapes (and a show of disgust at the newbies, such as my myself, lack of muscle in the neck area :p ). At the very end, we did some ‘conditioning’, which involved two people smacking eachothers forearms together. Which hurt.

Definitely be back sometime this week, on either the Tuesday or Thursday session, although the Tuesday session is apparently all ‘self-defence’, which I’m really not interested in, as opposed to Thursdays ‘MMA sparring’, which is more what I want. Also depends on which night has better Olympics coverage...

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