| bjj resources

 BJJ FAQ  Academy

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

20 April 2008

University of Warwick Zhuan Shu Kuan (ZSK), Holiday session, Coventry, UK – 20/04/2008

I'll kick off by mentioning two news stories that really caught my attention recently, for all the right reasons. First was the fantastic news that the Spanish PM has appointed a majority of women to his cabinet, including the pregnant Minister for Defence. I'm hopeful this is going to have a big impact on Spain, and perhaps even the wider political world: will be interesting to see how this develops.

The other great bit of news was here in the UK. Psychics, mediums, healers and the like are finally going to have to back up their claims, or they risk going to jail due to a new law coming into force. Brilliant! Sounds like a triumph for reason, but again, will have to see how it pans out once the legislation is on the books.

My neck was still sore on Wednesday and Thursday, so I decided to give it as long a rest as possible before getting back on the mats. I was tempted to go ahead and train anyway on the Thursday, but decided to follow my own advice and wait, which was frustrating but sensible. I'm also hoping I can get in an extra session next Friday to make up for only making one this week.

I was, however, able to make my first ZSK session in almost a year today. Or at least, its technically a ZSK session: it wasn't taught, and I spent all of it grappling (nogi, as the ZSK people unsurprisingly don't have wear a BJJ/judo gi). It was also a good chance to catch up, as while I've made it along to a few socials, I haven't seen the old crew for some time.

In fact, it went along the same lines as a throwdown, with several groups of people split off around the room chatting, sparring and drilling. I stuck to my corner with a few mats, and started off by showing a few of the ZSK people some grappling. I always enjoy the opportunity to practice teaching, as its definitely something I'd like to do in the future, though it will be a while before I'd feel sufficiently qualified to do a proper class.

There were two or three people interested in trying out some grappling, which was handy as that meant I could use people to demonstrate on (an option I don't have when trying to show my gf some BJJ). I tried to keep things simple, going through the sit-up sweep, kimura, then armbar from guard. I also threw in a triangle later on, as I was trying to come up with a way to help out one of the smaller people, who was having trouble landing the kimura once there was a bit of resistance. That's definitely something I'd need to be prepared for if I ever did teach a proper class: made me think of this thread over on Bullshido, which has a good discussion of teaching when only a blue.

Kevin, who mentioned he'd done some judo on and off over the years, then asked if I wanted to roll. We went for a few rounds til submission. It was good to get back into nogi, as I haven't done that since the RGA nogi class moved from Thursday to Friday. As ever, I find it easier to get the RNC (presuming I manage to get somebody's back) when there is no gi to provide friction, but most other submissions are much tougher to land.

Paddy, a friend of mine I've not seen for a while, also wanted to have a roll. His reasons were different, as he was interested to see if size and strength could negate technique. Paddy is a big strong guy, whereas I'm a small weak guy, so I expected to find it difficult to do much, even though Paddy has almost no ground experience. I could get an armbar early on, but once Paddy knew what to expect, I wasn't able to isolate any of his limbs: he could simply power out of any grip I attempted, especially without a gi to hold onto.

We frequently found ourselves sliding off the mats: I've gotten used to the luxury of a properly matted surface at RGA, so had forgotten about the joys of accidentally hitting the unpadded floor, or having to regularly kick the mats back into place. I was able to generally at least get back to guard and stay safe, but I'd say Paddy got his answer: size matters, unless there is a really big skill discrepancy. Would be interesting to see what would happen in the gi, as while I suspect it would be similar, collar chokes and easier grips would probably make a difference.

Finally, my old ZSK instructor Glen wanted to have a grapple. Glen is even bigger and stronger than Paddy, and unlike him does have an understanding of the ground (he's got a brown belt in judo and has competed under various rule sets over the years, including some MMA). If I couldn't do much against Paddy, I was expecting to get crushed by Glen. That's pretty much what happened, though Glen wasn't using his strength. He did, however, get me in some weird positions when I was under side control, where he scooped my foot up high. I thought he was about to apply some kind of footlock, but eventually found space to slip out. He said later that it had been so long he could barely remember any of the locks, so I think he was just sticking to position.

I realised on the way back home that, in the nine years I've known Glen, that was actually the first time I've ever sparred him. Good fun, and meant that I could test out how my neck was feeling. Seemed to hold up ok, so I should be fine to get back to BJJ next. Hopefully three sessions to make up for last week, but will have to see how it goes.

No comments:

Post a Comment