On Saturday, I packed my favourite pair of grappling shorts for an afternoon down at Dundee Mixed Martial Arts. Daniel Strauss was in town to show us all how to choke the fucking shit out of one another.
Last year, I travelled up to Aberdeen with a few pals to attend his butterfly seminar. The details were simple and effective, and it was great to spend three hours just going over one thing in great detail. It’s the sort of drilling you’re meant to do, but just don’t. Drill to kill and all that jazz. This isn’t my first rodeo, so I had a good idea of what I was in for.
This year, the same format returned. Daniel doesn’t fuck around, once there’s a quick head count down and it’s definite that there’s no other cunts due to show up, the class starts and you’re put to work immediately. There’s no warmup, because it’s summer. Really though, you’re about to drill for hours, at a very gradual pace, if you need a warmup you’re probably about to die. Sort your fucking life out, mate. Whipped cream on chips, you savage.
Each section is broken up meticulously and probably labeled appropriately. There’s a beginning, a middle bitty and an end. With some caveats thrown in, just to keep things funky. I’m downplaying things a bit here, because I don’t want to go into specifics and take money out the poor boy’s mouth. He’s clearly a very hungry boy. It’s shitty to chuck lesson plans online, when he’s still touring the seminar.
What I will say though, is that I am wholly shit at guillotines (or at least that’s how I felt at the beginning), but after three hours of practicing them and listening to the concepts and ideas that Daniel has about them, it really fucking gelled with me. I legit think I can guillotine anyone now, which is a gross over-estimation of where I’m at – but that’s not the point I’m making here. The point is, for £25 this is probably the best seminar I’ve ever been to. I fucking loved it.
Like most top black belts, he really takes the time to ensure you’re picking up the correct details, and he does this by observing everyone in the class, listening to your gripes and correcting them as you go. You’re encouraged throughout to ask questions. You don’t move on until everyone’s getting it, or at least that’s how it seemed. Granted there were a few right dumb fucks in the class, so it’s hard to tell. We might have been there all fucking day had he waited until EVERYONE got it.
I’ve been playing with the setups this week, and even when the success isn’t quite there yet, it’s ingrained in my brain. I just need to keep practicing and before you know it, I’ll be snatching up motherfucker’s necks whilst wearing only my rainbow coloured godzilla spats. That shit’s scary, yo.
Daniel Strauss is probably one of the nicest black belts you’re likely to meet, fuck he’s probably one of the nicest guys you’re likely to meet. He’s approachable and friendly with everyone, and there’s a real genuine quality to his character and coaching. You already know what he’s capable of, but his warmth as a person really hammers it home (even when he’s asking if Scotland has iPhones yet. Motherfucker). If you get the chance, look him up on Instagram or one of the numerous grappling shows he’s been on – and if you’re interested in learning how to get good at grappling, go to one of his seminars before his broken body catches up with him. I’m in my thirties, and shit’s getting real. He’s fucked.
Here’s some pictures of The Raspberry Ape and I, and the rest of the group. Don’t play spot the dumb fuck, it’s nasty.
View this post on Instagram
What an absolute dude. @dundeemma hosted a seminar with @raspberry_ape Daniel Strauss today. He’s touring Guillotines this year; the detail and instruction he gave was brilliant. It’s a submission I’ve always struggled with, but now that I understand Dan’s concept – I feel I’m going to have great success going forward. IF I don’t, then at least I had a fun afternoon. After last year’s butterfly seminar and this one, I will be attending whatever shit he’s pedalling going forward. Hopefully he sticks with Jiu-Jitsu, because if he starts teaching that no-touch bollocks I’m going to be pretty pissed off. #BJJ #BrazilianJiuJitsu #NoGi #GuillotineChoke #Dundee #ShackleAndBlade
I’ll be back soon for more shit talking. Toodles.