I took a trip outside Kyuzo this morning. I have builders in my gym working on the passageway to the dojo proper, so I had nowhere to train despite having not one but 2 training partners for once in the morning. I had some work to do from home but nothing major and I had the itch to train. So I texted Andy at BJJ Revolution and luckily they had a nogi class at 12.30 that I could leg it to once I’d finished my morning’s work. I hadn’t trained at Andy’s for about 3 years aside from a couple of seminars, despite having spent the bulk of my time being coached in MMA and BJJ there. I guess I’ve just been too busy to go although I do always say I must pop in for a roll sometime. Anyway I reckon I’ll make it down a few times a month in the mornings from time to time. It was great to get on the mat, not worry about coaching or teaching or taking fees or whether the builders were going to be hanging doors or painting or whatever. It felt like a holiday.
No technique this morning, we just rolled so I got a good eight or nine rounds in with about 6 guys ranging from white to brown belt, and I caught up with two guys who I hadn’t trained with since I left 4 years ago. It was nice to roll with them again and feel the improvements in their games and, sometimes at least, my own. The brown belt, Liam, started around when I started and he has excellent Jiu Jitsu. I think he may well have been the shortest time at white belt of anyone I know, (well, anyone genuine!) training about three months before he graded. He was triangling me back then and he was triangling me this morning too, so nothing’s changed in that regard! I had two rolls with him, both very hard. he’s a very submission oriented game as opposed to my sweep and pressure game so I was in danger every second of each round. I rolled with a couple of big dudes too, one very strong guy who took a top half guard and attempted to decapitate me. That was uncomfortable enough but he was also sprawling his hip right onto my bollocks, and every time I shifted, it just ground his hip in deeper. I decided patience was the way and waited for him to move but he never did and I ended up just lying there, worrying if they’d ever be the same again until the round ended. Afterwards I felt a bit stupid for not just asking him to move off my nuts, but in my defence, every time I was about to ask, it seemed like he was going to move anyway. I also took a couple of rounds with Mick from Performance Martial Arts, a BJJ Revolution affiliate too which was a first. There was a good Irish guy there too whose name escapes me now, but he had a gnarly BJJ tattoo.
So it felt great to get out and roll without any pressure to coach. It’s also nice to get schooled from time to time. It was my first serious nogi session since the Drysdale Camp in Poland, so I was a little bit grip rusty and my top game was brutal as a result, but I got a bit tighter later on. It’s also amazing what a difference a change in surface makes. At Kyuzo we have Zebra MMA mats, which are as thick and dense as the regular Judo Tatami but with a softer vinyl feel and a little extra grip underfoot. Ryano have the regular Tatami. These are used in just about every tournament in Ireland so this is the default surface for competition, and obviously I use them at every competition. I have to say spending a good ninety minutes on them this morning really did feel different underfoot and off my back. Two things stood out- I had to adjust my base a lot when passing the half guard, definitely more than usual. It felt like my knee slid away from my opponent when I shin cut a bit more and I gave up a really soft sweep as a result once in the session. On the plus side, butt scooting when retaining guard is far easier. Your shorts slide along the mat it’s like being on ice after the Zebras.
So a good morning’s training which I needed. My time has been limited due to being back in harness with my school’s work. I’ve also, possibly, just signed another school which means I can breathe a little easier come invoice time. It’s a fun life I lead but it’s not for the faint of heart… or wallet come to that. I have only trained a grand total of 6 hours in 2 weeks- a dreadful amount! I can feel the lack of an edge on the mats when rolling too and I don’t like it. I have a good session to do tomorrow night with the guys, beginners on Thursday followed by what we’ll term Jiu Jitsu While Punching with a couple of the guys and then I’m hoping for a good crew for the Friday night session. Saturdays have been brilliant lately as we’ve been adding in some strength or conditioning work within the session. Nothing too spicy guys just some additional work so get yourself down to that session at 12pm Saturday afternoon.
See you on the mat!