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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

15 November 2006

14/11/2006 - ZSK

University of Warwick Zhuan Shu Kuan (ZSK), Rod Richardson, Coventry, UK – 14/11/2006

Bit of a formal class today, which as I’ve already established isn’t exactly my favourite thing. It started off with a fairly intensive warm-up, taken by Paddy (who had made sure to turn up to class today to work his black belt grading stuff with Rod), counting out in sets of 15 rather than the usual 10. He then moved on to riding stance and punches, a trend which continued when Rod arrived.

We began by going through the 8th grade (white belt, so the first grading) fixed spar. That’s the usual TMA procedure of one person punches, the other blocks – in this case, its rising, inner and outer forearm blocks. Rod then called Paddy over to work some pads with him (I presume the black belt form came in at some point, but maybe Rod just wanted to work Paddy’s fitness), meaning that I had to take the class through the compulsory movements. This again is something for the grading, which at 8th grade looks pretty much like the fixed spar done solo.

I felt a bit strange instructing formal work, considering my views on it, but tried to teach it as best I could, emphasise the stance and putting effort into the blocks and strikes. Mainly that’s because I know from experience that Rod won’t put them forward for grading unless they look crisp, technical and firm. I attempted to make it a little less abstract by putting everyone into pairs after running through the movements a few times (it was a small class, so this was easy enough), then getting one of the pair to punch. That meant that instead of simply blocking in the air, there was a target to resist. Hopefully slightly more interesting, and it seemed to help (though that can be hard to tell).

In the midst of padwork with Paddy, Rod then told me to get everyone to simply jab-cross until I got tired (which effectively meant until Rod stopped: I didn’t especially want to be twiddling my thumbs while he was still working!). A very quick bit of linework from fighting stance, and the class was over. No sparring today, which I guess is because Rod wants to work the formal side of things in preparation for grading.

Not going to be able to make BJJ tomorrow unfortunately, but I’m compensating for that by going on Saturday instead. The question now is what to do Saturday night: I had intended to go to a corridor reunion, but now have to change my plans. Will see how things turn out.

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