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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

05 October 2005

Training Log: Zhuan Shu Kuan and Kempo Ju Jitsu

04/10/05 – Zhuan Shu Kuan, University of Warwick

Slightly more interesting session this week, as we got back to the usual padwork. Nothing too exciting, as it was just jab/cross and repetitive kicking, but infinitely more appealing than the linework of last lesson. Quite a few new people trying it out as before, but unfortunately it seemed to be mainly men; still, there one girl who stuck around for a while, and apparently did some kickboxing before. Not entirely sure if she’ll turn up again, because Rod (the instructor) was doing his macho thing again. Because there were one or two people who dared to either have a drink of water or, worse still, leave the room to get a drink, class ground to a halt while Rod counted out press-ups (where you hold either the up or down position depending if its an odd or even number). On each position, Rod would interject something like “You do not leave class without asking! Class is physically demanding!” and so on. While I like the exercise, it would be nice if we could get a few more members; this tough man act from the instructor really doesn’t help.

On the down side, class finished up by going through the first form, ‘Lo Han Chow’. Paddy, who helps out with instruction, was trying to give some explanations as to the benefits, like stance training for legs, along with particularly dubious elements like ‘kiai’. The whole form thing is the main reason I’ve no desire to grade again, or to attend Sunday classes where there is often even more of the ‘traditional’ side of things.

04/10/05 – Kempo Ju Jitsu, University of Warwick

After the ZSK, and a suitably knackering bit of padwork, KJJ was a step down in exercise terms. In marked contrast to ZSK, the session was packed out with freshers looking to try out a martial art; the lack of machismo from the instructor is no doubt an important factor in that. Of course, the sessions are nowhere near as physically demanding, and the numbers means there isn’t much space. Most annoying is that due to the constant stream of noobs, lessons don’t progress too much.

Padwork was pretty poor – I continue to have doubts over the stand-up in KJJ. Specifically, they were teaching a very silly uppercut, in which the guard dropped with the arm swinging right back and up, rather than striking from the guard and driving through with the legs. I’m also not too keen on the pads they use, which look like kickshields to me but were being used for punching combos – not quite sure why they don’t use focus mitts or at least thai pads. Then again, these are still beginner sessions, so you’d expect things to be kept simple.

It’s a shame I can’t make the ‘grades only’ session I was invited to, where they apparently get down to some groundwork and stand-up sparring. As I said last week, hopefully sessions are going to progress, with groundwork becoming a more significant part of class. Once the freshers stop showing up in such huge numbers, that should become easier

Came down with a cold earlier this week, which I somewhat foolishly ignored on the Tuesday, but decided to give in to illness on the Wednesday (so, no judo this week, which is a shame; might try and make a weekend session of it instead). Have to conserve my strength for the 70s night on Saturday! :D

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