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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

22 November 2006

21/11/06 - ZSK

University of Warwick Zhuan Shu Kuan (ZSK), Me, Coventry, UK – 21/11/2006

Rod has apparently broken his toe, which meant that I had to take the class today. I went through the usual warm-up, adding on sprawls, then quickly going through the necessary stretches so we could get on to padwork.

As before, I tried to do ‘alive’ padwork, with the pad person moving round and smacking their partner, trying to break up the rhythm and vary the distance. I’d also finally managed to work out the timer on my phone, which meant I could work the bag. That also handily meant I could watch the class at the same time – generally I was shouting out for people to keep their elbows in tighter to the ribs and for the pad people to be more mobile.

I went through jab-cross, then any punch (with the pad person shifting the pads to indicate hooks, uppercuts etc), after which I added kicks. Next step was to get some sweat going with jab-cross for a minute, then turning kick with each leg for a minute. All in all, I was aiming to take around 30 mins. What I like about padwork is that as I don’t feel properly qualified to demonstrate technique in a particularly detailed fashion, this gives people the opportunity to work their striking despite the fact they’ve only got me taking class. Also means they get a change from the formal stuff Rod often dips into, which was especially hefty last week.

I had another 30 minutes left, which I wanted to divide up between sparring and then a quick warm-down. My favourite ZSK sparring has always been the ‘four corner’ approach, where you have boxing in one corner, just kicking in another, kicking and punching in the third, then finally grappling in the fourth. I divided up the corners between the seniors (of which there were only four present, including me), then set the timer for 3 minute rounds.

Grappling is not something people at ZSK know much about, so I gave people the choice of either going at it, or if they preferred, I could show them a couple of techniques. I kept it really simple (considering my own noobness at grappling), so stuck to armbar from mount and a standing guillotine. Those are the two I’ve been shown the most over the various MMA, judo and BJJ classes I’ve been to, so hopefully I didn’t show anybody anything stupid.

The fourth guy had done a bit of judo, which meant he was happy to do some grappling from knees. As usual, I ended up in guard, which eventually got passed, though I did almost manage a triangle. Again as usual, he slipped out – that’s something I’m going to have to work on, as I keep failing to secure them properly. After a while, I noticed he wasn’t going for any subs: he had only ever rolled to pin, rather than sub. Only three weeks of judo, apparently, though I would have thought that was sufficient to learn at least one submission: I guess it depends on the class. I had just enough time to show an Americana from side-mount (on which he commented “Ah, yeah, we’ve done that in jujitsu”, so not sure what other experience he might have had).

If there is a next time, I think I’ll keep it even simpler and do the specific sparring thing, working passing and sweeps (though that would mean I’d have to show how to pass and sweep properly, so will need to be careful). My plan is to try and throw in some grappling when I can, in an effort to drum up sufficient interest that people will try out judo, BJJ etc, or at least be willing to come along to Throwdowns. Tom mentioned that Rod has been running some grappling on Thursdays, which is cool – would be great if that became a regular part of every class!

After a brief warm-down, session was over. Rod is back on Thursday, so I’m told, so hopefully he’s going to take it easy on that broken toe! Next session for me will be BJJ on Thursday, as my gf is coming back to Bucks with me tonight, so no training this Wednesday.

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