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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

18 October 2006

17/10/2006 - ZSK

University of Warwick Zhuan Shu Kuan (ZSK), Rod Richardson, Coventry, UK – 17/10/2006

I’d hoped to get my gf along this week, but couldn’t make it this time round – hopefully next week. I managed to get in sufficiently early to chat to freshers as planned: two guys I’d seen earlier, Eliot (not sure if that’s one l or two) and Tom, a German guy. After babbling at Tom for a while, disparaging form despite Paddy and Charles trying to counteract my sound advice, we had the usual warm-up with Paddy.

Unfortunately for me, once Rod arrived the first thing we did was formal work. Bleh. I suffered my way through both the compulsory movements (riding stance, left-right-left-right punch, low block in forward stance to either side, rising block going forwards and back in forward stance, outer forearm in back stance to either side, inner forearm block in back stance to either side) and the first form (‘lo han chow’), though at least we didn’t go through the entire syllabus, which is a typical warm-up exercise.

After that, Rod moved into linework from fighting stance. First it was, as it almost always is, jab cross, then adding a kick to the leg, a front kick, finishing with various permutations of turning kick with the ball of foot (leg kick followed by turning kick to midsection, then the full run-through of leg kick, midsection and finally head kick).

Next up was padwork, for which Paddy and I went onto the bag again – I’m still not convinced my shoulder is ok, though it seems to be holding up ok on press-ups. No jumping kicks this time, just front kick and side kicks. Only unusual aspect was that it was all off the front leg, but that suits me fine as I prefer front leg anyway.

The final part of class reintroduced me to sparring. Its been a good while since I last sparred, so I could certainly do with the practice. Would appear that nothings changed, as I still suck. A lot. So, good thing we’re at the teach-the-freshers stage, which means I can simply hang back and wait for them to try and smack me. I always feel a little disingenuous giving out advice to them at the end, seeing as I have such a low opinion of my own ability, but hopefully they find it useful (very basic stuff like keep your guard up, watch your toes, don’t be afraid to make contact, follow through on strikes etc).

I’m told that Sunday went well in social terms, with a few freshers popping along for drinks. No such luck today, meaning it was just me, Rod, Tom, Adam and Charles (who apparently hasn’t left, as he’s teaching in Cov: probably no bad thing to have more seniors around). There is Wing Wah’s this Sunday, though, so that should hopefully reel in some more freshers for me to babble at. Will have to be careful I don’t get annoying, but we’ll see how it goes – wine is always good! Also must phone the Roger Gracie Academy again tomorrow, as I haven’t managed to get through yet to book an intro session.

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