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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

04 September 2004

Training Log: MMA

(and the next night, back to Elephant and Castle for my final session at Elite...)

Elite Fighting Systems, (MMA), Dave O'Donnell, London, UK - 03/09/04

Lots more people this session, including the Elite 'demo team', which explained why there was a guy doing backflips as I got in, which was pretty cool. Apparently he's a stuntman. The demo team performance seemed to effectively be some nicely choreographed stage fighting, with various senior members of the class acting out a street scene with various techniques applied during the confrontation.

There was more of a warm this session, shadow boxing on the spot as various combinations were called out for knees and elbows. This later moved on to other such exercises, such as picking up the guy next to and lifting him a few times - fortunately it was a guy of the same size in my case, though presumably they wouldn't have expected me to lift some of the huge powerful people that train down there!

This moved on to 'body hardening', with such lovely exercises as running across people's stomachs (which I haven't done since the early months of ZSK at uni), and more intensive work jumping across them digging in knees, slamming down your body weight etc. There was also the old forearm clash from the first lesson, but thankfully the guy I was with didn't seem too interested in going particularly hard.

Dave also showed us various ways of breaking someone's hold if you were trying to put an armlock on them, and countering someone trying to put an armlock on you, by moving through their legs into guard.

One of the more senior students went through various techniques with us beginners, mainly focuses on figure-of-four variations, and its counter, which was simply lying on your own arm, though the guy said he preferred to grab his shorts to stop the arm getting locked up.

There was also plenty of rolling, sometimes with specific goals in mind and starting positions, like from guard, sidemount etc, and the aim was often to simply escape, turn over, or apply a specific submission. We also had the usual free roll as well, though less than normal.

Have to say, I'm still not massively enjoying grappling, but at least this is giving me a chance to get used to the ground and try out something new. Not sure how long I'll stick with it, particularly if I find a good stand-up class with more than one session a week, but perhaps my liking for the ground will grow in later weeks.

Club Details

Club Name: Elite Fighting System
Address: Heygate Club Room, Brandon St, Elephant & Castle, London (go to the big building down the end and up the ramp – NOT the bit that says ‘Karate Course’ a floor below)
Zip/Postal Code: SE17
Country: United Kingdom

Website: Here (note this has background audio)

Instructor: David O'Donnell
Cost: £5 per session
Styles Taught: Self-defence & MMA

Training times are Tuesday (self-defence & fitness) 19:00-21:00 & Thursday (MMA sparring) 18:30-20:30.

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