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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

28 September 2005

27-28/09/2005 - ZSK

On the 26th September, term started up again, so I had the opportunity to get back into the social side of things (an old friend of mine has started up postgrad, which means a floor to crash on at campus!), and get back into regular MA training.

27/09/05 – Zhuan Shu Kuan, University of Warwick

This was the first taught session I’ve had since last term, which is both a good and a bad thing. The plus points are the usual you get from an organised class; pushed harder, socialising and a clear structure. However, the down side is that it meant we did the aspects of ZSK I would normally ignore; linework kicking the air rather than a heavy bag/pads, pointless techniques (like elbow up and then strike to the eyes in a forward stance), and some formal motions. On the other hand, I’ve managed to convince the exec to book an extra hour on Wednesdays, which I’m effectively going to use as personal training time – in the holidays, that meant working the heavy bag, run through a few basic exercises (press-ups etc) and go through my very limited knowledge of submissions with a friend of mine.

This was a session for the freshers, as it was just after the Sports Fair (where you sign up for the various sports clubs on offer at the university); apparently Rod (the instructor on Tuesdays) wanted to make the session ‘hard’ to scare off new joiners who wouldn’t stick it out later in the term. Hence really pointless bits like ‘tempering’ where we stood in riding stance and got our arms bashed up through blocking, along with some kicks beginners tend to find a bit difficult – e.g., stepping sidekick followed by stepping hook kick.

The class should settle back into a more sensible pattern as the term progresses, so the sparring and padwork will crop back up. Its an unfortunate side effect of not having separate senior classes that every new term we have to go through basic stuff with no sparring for the first few sessions (though apparently Rod wants to get the sparring kicked off as soon as possible). Not that I’m especially fond of sparring, but its always something I want to improve.

28/09/05 – Zhuan Shu Kuan, University of Warwick

I went up to the sports centre a bit early to get the mats out and load up my laptop to run through some technique clips. I’ve been showing my friend Paddy some really basic groundwork over the holiday (really basic because I’m very much a novice myself!), so I was looking forward to showing him someone who actually knows what they’re doing perform the technique. Unfortunately, as we only had an hour, Paddy spent a lot of that warming up and working the heavy bag, and then going through a ZSK form for his girlfriend. But I did at least get to go through an armbar from mount and a triangle – seeing a BJJ black belt do the latter on a vid was most helpful, as previously when I’ve showed Paddy the triangle, I’ve had no idea about set-up.

Next session, will be good to finally do a knee-bar properly – I can never get the bloody thing right! Also hoping that I’m going to get some groundwork classes in to improve my technique; I certainly don’t want to rely on videos.

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