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?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Oppression Continues

The operation to get the screws removed went without a hitch! Everything is all healed up, I've been moderating my eating habits, found new ways to cook the quinoa, learned other cooking methods for chicken other than frying and may have even lost some weight!

As far as training, I've cut out a lot of free weight workouts in favor of using body weight. I've gone from 1 pull up to 5 in 3 weeks and will hopefully hit 7 in the next week or so. My son and I have been working on some basic BJJ techniques such as using closed/open guard, simple sweeps, the good ol upa and different techniques on breaking closed guard. Nothing fancy, just stuff that will hopefully help me out when I make it back to class.

Just this past weekend, Claudio Franca held a Jiu-jitsu by the Sea and two of my nephews competed. one took home a Gold and the other took home a Silver! Good job kids!!!

My replacement Padilla & Son's Gold Weave came in a couple of weeks ago! Just from rolling on the mats in the garage, this is a great Gi! It's lightweight, soft but at the same time it feels kind of...tankish? It's got a thick collar and even when soaked it still feels pretty light, unlike the Fuji one I have which, I swear, adds on 5lbs when wet.

Everything sounds all good right? Well, it was until a few days ago.

My wife got laid off from work. There are plenty of worries I can list but I'm just gonna list the ones concerning my training.

With me as a contractor I don't have health benefits and I don't know how I feel about rolling without health coverage. I've read on a couple of different blogs about injuries which required hospital visits to deal with them. I've never NOT had health insurance and don't know what I would do if I came down with even a moderate injury, where would I go?! FML.

The Academy I go to isn't the cheapest in the area but the instruction is great and the people are friendly as hell! I've only got good things to say about the people who attend but now I really can't afford it and if I want to continue training I've got to change schools - that and have top ramen for lunch every day :). I do know of a few other gyms in my area Alan "Gumby" Marques opened up Heroes and Claudio Franca's San Jose location is roughly the same distance from home as Heroes. Both are about the same price and I've only heard good things about their instructors. I'm leaning towards Heroes cause if Alan is anything like his brother, who I contracted with at Electronic Arts, I know I'll have a good time. Sometime next week I'm going to make plans on checking out their free trial class.

My other option for training is to just do what I'm doing currently which is; learning from online sources/books and have the occasional $20 lesson with my buddy who is a black belt in Brazillian Traditional Jiu Jitsu. This for sure is the more cost effective option and one that I should consider but I would be missing out on the comraderie that is formed when rolling with a nice group of people. Then again these lessons are at my cousin's house and we have beers after training...hmmm.

Got a lot to think about now. Oh the Opression!!!!