Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Class '08

BJJ (12/31/08 9:00AM)

So this was it. The last training of 2008. There were four of us on the mats today. Myself, hence the post, David (previously Dan/Dave) and Neil. Which reminds me, I forgot to mention why Neil failed to show up to train yesterday. It seems that somehow during rolling on Monday morning his toe got hurt and looks like it might have one of those pesky hairline fractures that we have all had. To use his words, yesterday it looked like he had a "sausage toe". Today the swelling had subsided enough and given way to bruising so, time to train.

We began warm-ups as normal. But today we were being led by Kazeka. Our head instructor, our coach, our general. After the "easy" part of warm-ups (where my brain malfunctioned yesterday) rather than heading to the wall for the traditional rolls, shrimps, monkeys and the like, our fearless leader had something else in store for us.

Kazeka announced that we would be doing "50/50's" meaning that the first fella would pick a type of push-up and we would do 50 of them, the next guy would pick a type of ab exercise and we would do 50 of those, then guy number three picks yet another push-up variant for 50 more reps of joy to lead us into guy number four's final 50 amorous abdominal adventures.

It went like this:
50 Standard push-ups
50 Kick-outs
50 Push-ups with the hands making little diamonds
50 Bicycles

Kazeka stood there in a state of Schadenfreude, watching our bodies collapse. He asked "Was that enough or do you want to do one more round?" Being that we are not very bright and we were all feeling pretty gung ho, we said of course we want to do one more.

It went like this:
50 Kunckle push-ups
25 Kick-outs to the right 25 Kick-outs to the left
50 Side to Side push-ups
50 Banana boats (which ended up being about 70)

My arms are still like over cooked pasta as I sit here typing. I have NO upper body strength as it is, and this exercise in arm destruction was particularly brutal. But I love these days. We may all complain and cry, but really, who doesn't love to push and see just how much they can do?

Then we started training, wrecked bodies and all. Kazeka showed us wrist locks from a standing position. Starting when an opponent grabs your lapels (or shirt in a practical application) to secure the wrist with one hand, come behind the elbow with the other to apply pressure then with both hands drive that pressure into you to finish the lock.

This move was very reminiscent of my Japanese Jujutsu days. But in that training, we would have never let go of the wrist. I must admit that I have really come a long way in being able to "unlearn" what I have learned from other systems when int comes to my BJJ training. In the beginning I used to get hung up quite a bit between the way the Japanese art did things versus BJJ. Now, I have a deeper understanding of the "why" behind the "how" so it is a lot easier to just do it.

Kazeka then showed us how this wrist lock can be used from virtually any position. He showed it to us from the guard, from side control really anywhere that your opponent grabs on to you. I love this lock. Being on a quest to ever improve my guard game, this gives me yet another weapon to have at my disposal. One thing I loved when I was working with Neil from my guard on this was, if I would go for the lock and miss there was something else there.

There was an instance in going for the lock that it slipped and I had an Oma Plata. There was another time when going for it when if it failed I could have finished with a triangle. So many options. Its great to have another tool in my limited tool belt to pick from. It gives a bit of confidence that when I attempt something and it fails, not all is lost.

We worked on drilling this technique for the entire rest of the class. When we looked up it was already fifteen minutes past the scheduled end of class. David had already left. Neil and I told Kazeka, who had snuck behind the desk, that we needed to be getting on with the day. He came back to the mats, sat down and we all sat there for a few minutes having a pretty informal chat. One of those moments you typically don't get enough of with Kazeka. We sat and laughed, helped move some mats so that our new Octagon MMA cage can be properly set up by Monday, and called it a day; a year. No rolling, no epic battles. A pretty mild, relaxed day.

All and all, great way to spend the last class of the year!

1 comment:

Sir. Fobos said...

I think it was a pretty good close to the year. I started training in August and here it is 2009... 4 full months under my belt (ya, I'm a complete rookie). Still no stripe, but who knows where we will be this time next year. I plan on using that cool wrist lock as often as I can. It was a pretty sick move!