27 Feb 2009

A session with 'Malandro'

Just got back from a session with David Onuma, who was a guest instructor at Nick's BJJ club. David is a brown belt under Ricardo Vieira and also a full time instructor teaching JKD (Jeet Kune do) and FMA (Filipino martial arts) based martial arts. This was a great session, a real privilege for me and the guys who attended. David didn't just show us a bunch of techniques, he got us thinking about the theory behind them. He started off with simple counters when the uke defends knee on belly. He asked us to look at what uke needed to do in order to defend his position. Then, based on his response, it was up to tori to capitalise on uke's defences in order to gain a superior position or submission. Another set up we did was when uke is in your closed guard and you try to perform an armbar on him. Clearly a half competent uke would defend this in one of many different ways. So David got us to look at how uke defends and base the next move, most likely a sweep, on his specific reaction.
The theme of the session was not that we should just be spoonfed a bunch of techniques, but for us to think a little but more about the theory, and experiment a little. David suggested that in order to progress in this manner, we should get into a key position during sparring and let uke counter or defend, and study how he does this. You do this again and again untilyou have worked out what it is that allows uke to do what he does and then you work out ways to negate those early steps. This made a lot of sense to me. In fact, I now have the perfect excuse when I next get tapped out...I was just studying how my opponent was moving!
David finished off by showing us a drill where you can stop uke passing your guard just by pushing his head away from you. It was really funny watching this, and even I managed to make it work, sort of. David is an awesome instructor and gives lots of food for thought.

Well, Meerkatsu life is not all BJJ. I'm still doing traditional JJ. The focus at the moment is on ko-budo (traditional weapons) training. I'm stuck half way through learning sai kata number 3 at the moment and had a go at the katana cuts kata. There are 8 cuts to learn, each one increasing in complexity until you end up pirhouetting like a ballerina and slicing the ceiling lightbulb off. Not exactly the graceful jitsuka I thought I was.

About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Liam H Wandi said...

Long time ago amigo :o)


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