11 Sep 2006

Bear hugs

IJJC Club members enjoyed a successful kyu gradings last Sunday. We had ten in all and a very good standard was achieved by all. Special mention to Rob and Aubrey who endured their purple belt gradings in a hall heated up by the unseasonable hot weather outside. It was so hot that someone passed out doing their grading.

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Gradings are a strange concept if you think about it. You train hard for months and months and then it all comes down to how you perform on the day. The key word here is 'perform'. It's no difference really to practising a play or learning a new choreography for a musical. You learn to become very technically adept. But one could reasonably argue that it begins to get a bit too rehearsed and a bit far removed from the vagaries of self-defence reality.
This is why I am a big advocate of sparring - any kind of sparring be it ground or stand-up or even a mixture of both. With sparring, you get to practice against resistance under controlled conditions.
And it is sparring practice that Meerkat is clearly lacking in.
Today, I was set-up big time. Last week, all the class at RGDA learned a new submission. I think it was called the Koala Bear crush - and I thought koalas were cute cuddly creatures? Erm, maybe someone can correct me on the name.
I was in Adam's guard and he proceeded to work his way into squeezing my rib cage until it was reduced to about half the size. The pain was unbearable and the ear-piercing yell made everyone in the class stop to look. Then everyone laughed in unison. Hello? Had I missed something? Turns out the class I missed last week was where everyone learned that move and they themselves recognised the same blood curdling yell, so when I did it,they knew I was the sucker that fell for that one. Ha, well, now I know it so I ain't falling for it again!
Right now, I am definitely paying the price for long absences from BJJ training. Everyone is streets ahead and I am struggling to keep up with even the new white belts. But I am setting myself a training schedule and, crossed fingers, if I can stick to it, then I should be back to my full potential come Jikishin tournament time.

About the Author

Meerkatsu

Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.

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