Tag Archives: gracie jiu-jitsu

Pressure.

Welcome back y’all. I’m here to ring in the New Year the only way I know how, by flinging shite at you until you go away.

In the lead up to Christmas, I normally get antsy because impending break knocks my chakra to fuck. Legitimately though, I turn into an even more pissy cunt than usual. Jiu-Jitsu balances me. It kills the ills, as it were.
Luckily this year, I was fortunate enough to catch training sessions here and there to tide me over until classes officially started back up again on Monday.

Today, some two days after that first official class back – myself, Danny, Grant & Sean flung ourselves into a car and hurtled down to Newcastle for a session with our good pal Dave ‘Speedy’ Elliot. It’s 180 miles each way, to get beaten up for a few hours before grabbing some food, and heading back. It’s a LONG fucking day, but it’s worth it for the wealth of knowledge that Speedy will impart whilst you’re there.

Regrettably Speedy invited along my arch-nemesis. His son Tyrone is a four stripe brown belt that has been bullying me on the mats since he was 15 years old. He does the whole nice guy thing well, but I know his game. He’s out to get me. Bastard.

Today we focused on side control and a plethora of armbar attacks from there. It was something I’d wanted to play with, and it was also a great way to better understand this mystical pressure that Speedy keeps talking about.

I cannot appropriately describe the horrendous amount of pressure demonstrated in each armbar. My arms felt like they were about to explode when having the techniques applied on me, and I felt like a destroyer of worlds when applying them. As I switched from side control into kesa gatame for the step over arm bar, I could feel my finger playful pointing towards the big button that said, “DO NOT PRESS: NUCLEAR WARHEADS.”
It was a fucking great addition to the arsenal, and the chain of attacks that came off of it allowed you to better picture how all of this shit fits together.

After learning how to prevent someone from carrying their shopping home, we rolled. I rolled with Danny, Speedy, Grant & Tyrone in that order. I’ll focus on my rolls with Speedy & Tyrone, because Danny & Grant are shitebags that I can roll with anytime.

Rolling with Speedy is very much like rolling with an avalanch. If you’re ever given the liberty of space, it’s not going to be for long, because that gap will just be filled with an unrelenting amount of weight and pressure. I fared better against him this time than I did last time, but I was still tapped plenty – as and when he chose to do so. I didn’t realise until after the roll that I wasn’t able to amount a single attack. I was working for sweeps, and trying to get into an advantageous position but it just didn’t happen. Six minutes of hell.

Rolling with Tyrone was a lot more playful. I think our styles compliment one another well. I tried a lot more sweeps and attacks with Tyrone, but the bulk of our roll was focused on a kimura lock that he was working for, that I refused to give up. I’ve got flexible arms, and as close as it was several times, I managed to somehow wriggle out of it. At one point I managed to create space and reel him right back into a heel hook. We both looked at one another knowing what was there, so I let go like the gentleman I am. It was a great roll.

All in all, the day was fantastic. I look forward to the next time I see Speedy, which’ll likely be in March on my fucking Birthday. The best day.

Toodles motherfuckos.

The Darkest Colour.

When we started out in this art, one thing is very clear for the vast majority of us. Getting your black belt isn’t even on the radar. Your first gi is either too small, or too big for you. And even though you know how to tie a shoe lace, tying a belt requires you enlist in the Navy and do your service for your country, or at least that’s how it seems at first. On day one, you look in the mirror, and see a dishevelled mess of a person. That’s what people think of, when they think of a white belt. Forget the hardened warriors that are on the cusp of getting their blue belt. When you think of a white belt, you see yourself. You were shite.

On Saturday on the 7th of November, Fort Speedy held another grading day in Newcastle. Usual format. Inter-club between the Darlington, Dundee and Newcastle lot. This is a competition between friends. There was some beautiful Jiu-Jitsu on display from white belt through to black. It’s a great day out.

Us Dundee lot had a great time, each receiving stripes and most notably, Andrew (JFK) finally got his blue belt. A well deserved feat, by a very hard working grappler. He was very quick off the bat to finish his opponents. That’s what he does. He’s a big strong brute of a man, that doesn’t mess around with his techniques.

I had two fights, both of which showed glaring holes in my game, and have given me something to focus on, in movement. I fought two guys that were bigger than me, but that wasn’t a factor, as neither muscled me into the mat. Fahad and Hubert both had far better technique than I. It’s a humbling experience, but one that should only make me a better grappler, once the hard work is put in. I’ve marked their names in my little book of enemies, and will be taking their skulls home with me in May.

From Dundee/Fife, we had a strong showing, sans my own glaringly shit performance. Aaron, Andrew, Grant, Lewis, Paul, Ronnie, Scott & Sloany all had moments of brilliance in their matches, but we’ve all come away with things to work on, because that’s how this sport works. Even on your best day, there are gaps to be found by someone. We’re very fortunate to have some great coaches sending us into battle up in Dundee, one of which, who heads the BJJ classes is Billy Beckers. He’s our Yoda. Our Jiu-Jitsu-off-on-another-tangent-but-is-leading-you-down-the-right-path-master. Paul Hughes whilst not affiliated with Origin Jiu-Jitsu is also an asset to our training, well worth a mention for his invaluable grappling knowledge. He’s a dirty wrestler, but like Billy, I love him to bits.

The Darlington and Newcastle guys put on a show. Their finesse, movement and approach, even at white belt is something special to watch. Speedy and Dom are doing great work down in their retrospect cities. Their guys were rightfully showered in stripes, blue belts and a few well deserved purple belts that I think we all knew were coming.

Last but by no means least, our wonderful coach in Speedy may be a man of humility, but we look upto him as some sort of mad professor. His approach to Jiu-Jitsu is simple, effective and brutal. I think the scariest thing about a mad professor though, is the things that they can create. Think Frankenstein.
On Saturday, he created a whole new evil in giving Dom his black belt. Dom has been on a long and difficult journey, and the darkest colour will suit him well, because his Jiu-Jitsu is incredible. He’s an awkward, technical little bastard, with the same bloodthirst in his eyes as Speedy. If I can be half as good as either of these two men, I will have made it in this art.

Right, toodle pip.

A sensible photo, full of sensible people.

A sensible photo, full of sensible people.

Polaris 2.

It’s been a month since I’ve posted anything. I’ll cut the bullshit, I haven’t had anything interesting to say, or at least publish. I’m still training as frequently as possible, and mixing between Gi and NoGi. So that’s good. I’ll likely touch on that another time.

RIGHT. Onto Polaris. After the first Polaris I’d pretty much reserved myself a seat on the sofa ready to watch the next one. I’m fortunate enough to have a pretty sweet setup at home. I have a home theatre PC setup in the living room, connected to a 50″ Sony Bravia. So grappling events get a  pretty great airing when they come around.

The thing that Polaris has going for it, was here again. Passion. The people involved with Polaris, from what I can gather is a collaboration of some of the UK Jiu-Jitsu scene’s greatest minds. The UK scene reached a point with Polaris 1 whereby companies like Tatami and Scramble were in a position to put on this show, that no-one really expected. It was an incredible show, and it seems that the whole scene is behind it. Rightly fucking so.

FloGrappling handled the streaming of the event itself, at a pretty reasonable price. I hope in future though that they up their bandwidth, because I had quite a bit of pixelation throughout, on a 152Mbps connection. That might have been a problem with the location of the event actually. I work in telecommunications, and happen to know that quite a bit of Wales infrastructure is piss poor. The player controls weren’t the best. I couldn’t rewind anything, and the quality control was stuck on Auto. It mostly streamed in 720p by the looks of it, but I’d have preferred to have knocked the quality down if it meant no pixelation. Aside of that, things ran pretty smoothly.

The announcement team were Josh Palmer, John Kavanagh and Nick Osipczak. This is a pretty great team. Josh runs the show with John and Nick adding their opinions where needed. MC Tone again did a great job with the intros.
The venue looked pretty great with the lights dipped, and things ran pretty well throughout. Now let’s talk about the fights.

Luca Anacoretta vs Pedro Bessa.
Gianni Grippo vs Tom Barlow.
Robson Moura vs Baret Yoshida.
Vitor Ribeiro vs Daisuke Nakamura.

Eddie Cummings vs Reilly Bodycomb.
AJ Agazarm vs Dan Strauss.
Michelle Nicolini vs Gezary Matuda.
Gary Tonon vs Maskazu Imanari.

There was not a bad fight, and I really urge every one to give this event a watch. For me, it further cemented my opinion that submission-only are the only truly entertaining grappling events. Points fuck things up. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but I just don’t get the same buzz with the Worlds that I do with either Polaris or EBI.

I’m not going to cover every fight, but simply highlight my three favourites. You should really watch the whole fucking lot though.

Robson Moura vs Baret Yoshida was incredible. Moura is a technician on the mat, approaching 20 years as a black belt. He’s 37 years old. Baret we know is a very tough grappler, that has a very dangerous crucifix game. If this were a points match, the judges would get RSI from turning cards constantly. It was stunning to watching. Moura arguably had the best flourishes of the fight, coming close to finishing Baret a few times in a nasty sequence, but Baret wasn’t without his dominance. Moura is always calm, but he looked as uncomfortable as everyone else in Yoshida’s crucifx. This was an instant classic.

Daniel Strauss vs AJ Agazarm. The social media heat between these two guys was pretty hilarious. Even the handshake at the start showed the tension between them. There was shoving throughout, words exchanged, taunts, and more importantly than anything else, some really fucking high level wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. The size difference was really noticeable, but AJ seemed unfazed, having fought many big guys before. They had a great back and forth, with Strauss creating far more submission opportunities. This was my fight of the night.

Garry Tonon vs Maskazu Imanari. On paper this seemed like a great idea, but I think a fair few of us knew how much of a mismatch it was likely to be. Tonon is successful at elite BJJ competitions with his attacking style. Imanari on the other hand had great success with his leglock game in MMA, at a time when people didn’t know what the fuck leglocks were. The attacks and knowledge between the two were great, but even with a big weight cut, Tonon looked huge compared to Imanari. This was a smashing fight.

All in, this event was another brilliant success by the people running the show. There were plenty of finishes, some more shocking and devastating than others. And one thing that was prevalent throughout the entire night was the respect and love for grappling.

Get your arse over to http://www.flograppling.com/ and get it watched. It’s only $19.99 for a month of viewing, which I believe will include the Pan Ams, as well as a plethora of other content.

Dangerous Daydreams.

I’ve always been a dreamer. My mind wanders often. Like most people I dabble with complete fantasy and gripping reality. I’ll fleet from thoughts of a nice house, a fast car and pools of money to visualising that moment when a black belt gets wrapped around my waist for the first time – but that doesn’t stop me thinking about the endless money woes, and trying to keep myself afloat by working far more hours than I should have to, due to past shitty decisions (let’s buy the fucking world!). The adventure marches onwards in my little brain. People do this shit all the time. I maybe do it a little more than most, and a lot of the time I completely switch off. If you catch me staring a hole in something with a look of vicious intent, chances are I’m daydreaming.

I find now the more I get into Jiu-Jitsu, the more dangerous my daydreams are becoming. I’ll be sat staring at some heinous cunt with an annoying laugh, and thinking to myself gleefully how great it would be to throw them to the ground and clock choke them with their own Parka jacket. I don’t imagine this is normal, but if it gets me through the day, I’m probably going to do it.
I sit waiting, brain on idle, going through the motions of kneebars, heelhooks and footlocks, and how I can impliment them into my game. Friends will give me a wave or a snap of the fingers to pull me out of it, but little do they know they’re now a visual aid to my perfect little Jiu-Jitsu fantasy. See you in hospital, loser!

There’s obviously a therapeutic side to this daydreaming of mine. Sure I could be thinking about turning your arm into a bowl of Rice Krispies (Snap, Crackle & Pop) but chances are once my little daydream is over, I’m not going to follow through on the thought. The deed is done, and by visually hurting you, I can move on with my day. There’s also the massive bonus that this has me thinking about Jiu-Jitsu far more often. With that, I think at least it’ll apply to training well because I’m more actively looking to play with ideas I may have conjured up earlier in the day when someone cut into the queue, forgot to hold a door open or whatever.

I hope I’m not alone in my psychosis here. I trust you’re all beautifully fucked up too, and if not – what the fuck is wrong with me?

adeus.

That Racquetball Cunt.

I’ve watched enough American TV in my life to make absurd claims like, I completely understand American culture. Fact is, I don’t but let’s fucking roll with it anyways.

I’m that Racquetball cunt. What I mean by that is, I’m the guy currently that shows up once a week and pretends they’re actively pursuing this sport. I can no longer make that claim, because I’m currently not able to. I’ve had various diseases* preventing me from training, and when I have been recovering the will to actually get down to train, just hasn’t been there.

I haven’t played Racquetball in my life, I barely know what it is. I’m going to hazard a guess at extreme wall tennis. I imagine like Jiu-Jitsu it’s something that you have to actively practice on a regular basis to be good at. Now I’m by no means slipping in my Jiu-Jitsu game (that may be arrogant to say, but I’m still feel mostly comfortable), but people are going to catch up. My cardio is dreadful, and I’m no longer the thundering muscle man I used to be (never have been).

Where the hell do some of you people find the motivation? I’m hoping as the new year comes in, I’ll be able to kick myself up the arse again, and start aiming towards competition. I know I’m not the only person that feels like this, because I have read similar posts on here before about the honeymoon period waring off. Maybe the more I go, the less desire I’ll have, not to go. That’s worded incredibly strangely. I’m keeping it though. Deal with it.

Next year’s goals are simple. I want a medal. I’ve skipped competing this year, because the confidence still isn’t there, and I’m just not a competitive person. Not with sport, not when there’s so many out there that can destroy me. Igniting that fire that so many have is difficult when you really just want to say, “He’s bigger than me. Fuck this.”

Right, fuck off then.

*I’m not actually diseased. Flu and IBS cuntery has plagued me recently.

Future Pieces: Incoming!

If you’ve visited my page before, you’ll know I was at a Marc Walder seminar yesterday. A summary of that is, it was fantastic. I’ll write something a bit more comprehensive about it later when I actually have time.

Today I’m resting, and chilling out with my girlfriend. We’re going to eat, and watch movies. Gangster Squad is on the agenda. That should be good.

More training tomorrow with my partner in crime, and I’ll also put up the pieces about the seminar, and the story behind my blue belt (which I received on 15/04/12).