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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

06 December 2006

05/12/2006 - ZSK

University of Warwick Zhuan Shu Kuan (ZSK), Rod Richardson, Coventry, UK – 05/12/2006

After I went through the warm-up, throwing in some sprawls like last time, Rod arrived to work the formal side of things. Fortunately, he focused on the compulsory movements, which tends to be both enjoyable (as I get to jump around throwing flashy kicks) as well as a good work out (jumps are knackering!). Also good to know that my jumping back kick is still sharp, as it elicited a comment from Rod.

He also incorporated a lot of linework, with combinations like jab-cross-hook-uppercut, jab-cross-leg kick-back kick, jab-elbow-spinning elbow etc. Would have been preferable against pads, but again it’s good aerobic exercise and also works coordination.

Finally, it was time for padwork, or in my case (due to the continuing saga of my dodgy left shoulder), bagwork. Here I got some useful tips from Rod and Paddy, firstly a reminder on the hook to keep my elbow down rather than up. Rod also told me to aim for Paddy’s head (he’s significantly taller than me, so that requires a fair bit of reaching), which meant I had to put my hip into the punches more, as I couldn’t bring my elbow over the top. This has definitely been helping my piss-poor punching, especially on the wrist positioning: my punching has sucked for years, but if I keep getting (and more importantly, take on board) good advice, there’s hope for me yet.

Last drill was an unusual one on turning kicks. Rather than hitting with the instep or lower shin, we had to try and strike with the upper shin. Not only that, it needed to be a high kick. This turned out to really work my side, as well as flexibility, though I’m fortunate in that I can get my leg pretty high so flexibility isn’t normally a problem for me. It also reminded me how little conditioned my left shin is, but I’m fine with that – I’m perfectly happy to hide behind a nice thick pair of Viper pads.

Today will be the first of three consecutive lessons, as I plan to make BJJ on Wednesday and Thursday, then the Throwdown in Brighton on the Saturday. Should be a good week for training.

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