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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

07 March 2007

ZSK - 06/03/2007

University of Warwick Zhuan Shu Kuan, (ZSK), Rod Richardson, Coventry, UK - 06/03/2007

Been a month since I last made ZSK, for various reasons. As I’ll be flying back from Spain this coming Tuesday, I’ll be missing ZSK that week too (though on the plus side, should hopefully be able to get in some additional BJJ). So, next ZSK lesson will be in May – clearly not going to be improving my striking much this year!

Having said that, I unfortunately will have to build up my punching and kicking rather swiftly, as I’m the only senior belt available for Paddy, who needs to prepare for his black belt grading. That basically means I’m going to get beaten up by him over the third term: oh joy. I’ll be most pissed off if I get injured again and have to take time off, but as Paddy’s a good mate, I can hopefully avoid fucking up some joint or other this year.

I had a chance to chat to a whole bunch of people today. First person, rather randomly, was a girl I haven’t seen for at least three years, Malgorzata. If any of the creative writers are reading this on Facebook, they may remember her: apparently, she’s now working in advertising, and still makes those poetry films. Appeared behind me on the train, as she was on her way down to London, where she now lives.

I also got to talk to Tom, who wasn’t training as he’s hurt his back. Finally, I chatted to Jenny in class, which was nice as she’s a poetry person – not many of them around to converse with, especially one’s who are keen on form. As usual, I’ve been pushing for a social, which looks like it may actually happen next term. There was interest from the people in the class, and Rod should be able to make it too. Another good plan would be to have everyone round someone’s house (probably Paddy’s) to watch UFC 70, which I’m sure most people in class would find interesting. If not, there’s always booze, after which everything becomes interesting!

From next term, I need to start approaching ZSK the same way I’ve been approaching BJJ. That is to say, I should come to class with a plan and specific techniques I want to work on. If I’m going to be doing lots of hard sparring with Paddy, then that’s the perfect time to pressure test, although the injury problem is a worry. Kinda unavoidable problem in contact sports, so I’ll have to develop a solid defence. The chance to take Paddy down and do some groundwork would be fun, but given my inexperience at putting people on the floor from a standing position (particularly when that person is not only bigger and stronger, but trying to smack you in the face), I’m thinking it may well prove difficult.

As to class itself, was pretty formal (linework, compulsory movements, lo han chow, fixed spar), but that’s to be expected as there’s a grading coming up soon. Rod emphasised that he felt forms and the like were essential, citing Glen as an example of someone who is both a competent fighter and an advocate of forms. Not my thing (as evidenced again today when I could barely remember the beginning grade fixed spar), but then it’s a kung fu style, which means you have to do the formal stuff as well as the kickboxing.

On a random note, I was having a chat with Rod after class and I'm going to have a look into club branded rash guards (maybe that will encourage more groundwork? If nothing else, the whole wicking thing should make training a little more comfortable). If I can get a bunch of people interested, then might get a bulk order discount or something, which would be handy.

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