Monday, July 12, 2010

First real session in a while

Saturday night a few of the cousins and my family brought our kids to the Drive In to watch Despicable Me and Shrek 4? I forget which Shrek it was but it was a good one. My cousin Shannon lets me know that an impromptu jiu jitsu class can be setup for Sunday morning and I jump at the chance, he makes the calls and we're gold. We each have 2 beers and I limit myself to 2 smokes as I know that drinking and smoking too much will have me heaving into the "fugit buckit" the next morning. Both movies are entertaining, the kids have fun and I waaaay too much of the Furrikake popcorn, we say our good byes and we're on our way home.

Sunday morning rolls around, my son and I show up a little later than we wanted to and before we could get into our warm ups Sensei walks in and he changes into his Gi and we begin warm ups. There were four of us for this morning, myself, my 16 year old son, my cousin(215) and my cousin's husband(who I'll refer to as 225). He went light on the warm ups cause he knows I smoke and my other cousin is just beginning to start working out again. After the warm ups, he asks what we'd like to learn. I look around and see blank stares so I asked if he could show us a couple of ways to pass guard, he smiled(I think he was waiting for us to ask for a couple of submission holds), agreed and went onto demonstrating the first technique with 225 and it's a basic posture up, knee, break, base/slide/hook/squeeze, pass into side.

We went through that first technique and drilled it for about 20 minutes and then were partnered up to try and use what we had just drilled for another 20. He walked around correcting any mistakes and then asked if we were ready for the next pass. We look around and all agree and he proceeds to show us the next technique.

Sensei takes the youngin and has him close guard, grips youngins inside gi pants using both hands, places elbows inside the thighs and then sprawls out and shows multiple ways to pass from his position. We're paired up again and are told to go ahead and execute the pass. Once started, we'd found out the hard way that his demonstration on my kid was done very gently as each sprawl we did was immediately followed by a high pitched...uh...reaction...squeal...or..ummm...scream? It wasn't a grunt or was a cry born from pain and there was for sure a lot of pain once the elbows dug into your thighs as a result of the sprawl. But the pass worked well and we all survived and after another 30 minutes of drilling and rolling with that one, were told we all did well with that technique.

We all thought class was done as it'd been about an hour and we knew he wanted to watch the world Cup Finals, but he asked 225 to put it on the TV with no sound and he'd be happy to watch it that way. He then proceeded to tell the youngin and 225 to free roll for 5 minutes, they finished and I went 5 minutes with 215 and then as one of us dropped out of the rotation from a lack of oxygen someone else was to take his place. If you took a break you were in for the next slot and it went this way for about 40 minutes with Sensei instructing both guys on the mat on what to look for, what to do and how to move. It was fun but I died about 3 times sucking up as much wind as I could before the next roll.

I think we all did fairly good, we all were able to use the sprawl pass a couple times each, 3 of 4 of us were able to lock in tight arm bars, 225 landed a nice triangle on the youngin who'd almost had 2 arm bars on him. I was able to get in a few sweeps, was able to pass guard a few times using both techniques we'd learned that day and was able to survive a bit longer before I needed a break. 215 who is the newest of us, managed to survive a lot longer than before and he managed to avoid getting submitted by 225 who is actually imo pretty good.

After all is said and done, the class comes to an end. We're told that we're improving and that he is impressed with the progression he's seeing and he'd appreciate it if we would wear the patches that he gives to his regular students. He said that although we don't train with him regularly he wanted us to be apart his their Jiu Jitsu family. I'm the only one who is taking classes outside of the garage and he'd mentioned that it's usually frowned upon to represent two schools on your kimono, but because of the mutual respect that we share he wouldn't mind if I wore another schools patch along side Team patch but out of respect for any other schools I need to ensure that their okay with me training with his patch on my Gi.

Doh! Sorry Georgette, I forgot to ask him about the difference in BTJJ vs BJJ. I'll interview him over some beers so I can get a clearer picture of the differences before I post information that may be lacking in facts. His father, who'd started their School is coming at the end of August, I will for sure attempt to try and talk to him to get even more information on their early begininngs.

I've seen other patches at the Academy I was going to worn by visitors and folks just passing through. But I've never seen a Gi representing two different Teams. For sure I'd check with the head instructor to make sure I don't offend but I also wouldn't want to offend the other folks I'd be rolling with during the week. Is this something I should worry about?


  1. LOL no worries :) Will be interested to read what you discover though.

    Hey. Seriously? Quit smoking. (Brief lecture-mode: my mom smoked. Died of lung cancer when I was 17. My dad smoked. Died of lung cancer when I was 24. And don't think people can't smell it all over you when they roll with you. It comes out of your lungs and pores. I won't roll with guys who smoke, but at our academy, there's only one or two. Out of two hundred plus.)

    Back to happy things: I see other patches from other schools on different peoples' gis. Usually it's a place they used to train at, or trained at briefly while visiting somewhere else. Usually not offensive unless it's a local competitor and you're actively training at both places.

    FWIW I don't like relying on the elbow-dig-into-thigh method of breaking guard.

  2. I'll be interested in what I discover too. It should be fun talking to him :)

    No worries on lecturing me I need it every once in a while. I'm sorry to hear about your parents passing away, thank you for sharing. That is one fear that has been sticking in my head lately, I don't want to leave this world at a young age and want to see my if I can have grand kids one day...but not too soon!!! I've never thought about how it affects who rolls with me though but that's another good reason to quit, I may be missing out on some good folks to roll with cause I smell like an ashtray.

    As to the patches, all the schools here including my friends send competitors to all the local tourneys but I haven't heard anything as far as any rivalries between them. I'm going to ask this new gym I'm looking at if they'd mind the patch on my Gi and am hoping it will be okay, I'm emailing them once I post this - I have goldfish memory too or would it be that fish Dory from Finding Nemo? LOL

    My buddy did invite me to train with him at his school. But the drive and schedule wouldn't workout very well. Plus I think my 95' Accord would die from that commute :)

    Yeah I think for my next class with him I'm gonna find out another guard without elbows. I've heard similar thoughts about breaking guard using your elbows.

    As always thank you madam for your insights! :)

  3. Some folks at University of Jiu Jitsu have Saulo's patch along side the traditional Gracie Humaita patch. Not really two different/competing schools as much as a parent/child schools I suppose. But I wouldn't put a University of Jiu Jitsu patch on my Gracie Barra gi. I'm too green to know why there is such a rivalry between GB and GH, but I'm aware enough to know I probably shouldn't mingle the patches/gis. Maybe it's all in my mind.

    But, yeah, quit smoking. I like to have a cig every once in a while, but I couldn't imagine training as a "smoker." I'd 'bout die on the mats. Fo sure.

    Oh...and breaking/passing guard by digging in the elbows? I only do it if the opponent absolutely refuses to let go. My professor did it to me, so do the purples and blues, when I refused to break guard. Got deep bruises as a result. My purple belt friend says, "You always have an option. If you don't want it to hurt, just give up the pass." I've only had to dig in the elbows a couple of times, but, yeah, it does seem to work. "Technique" of last resort I suppose.

  4. Thanks for the words G-Stamp about the patches. Wish me luck on this LOL

    I do die on the mats quite a bit but I am working on cutting it down again.

    I think I will be using the elbow technique as a last resort because it seems to use more force than actual technique to pass guard.