27 Jan 2010

Grappling dumbly

WOOT! Or whatever the kids say these days. I have my own fighter profile page on the MHBJJ website. Regardez ici: Mill Hill BJJ Seymour Yang. Now, no one can ever say: No one remembers second place!

Training's been going ok. as I mentioned before I think, it's just business as usual since I got promoted. The guys who mullered me before, still do, and visa versa. But I have noticed a little change in the way I approach my jiu jitsu, I liken it somewhat to the time when I was training in traditional ju-jitsu. Allow me explain...

Dan Dares
Way back when I was a keen brown belt in a Japanese style of traditional ju-jitsu, I trained my guts off for my black belt grading. We're talking 5-6 days a week of hard throwing, hard wrist-locking and hard (to remember) kata..ing. It was hard, hard physical work. but very rewarding and I am very glad I did it. but it was all spoonfed into me and I just drilled it like a well-conditioned monkey.

Then, two and bit years later, I trained hard for the next grade up - nidan - and it was a very different experience. Out were the very very hard throws, in came a ton of very complex joint lock manipulations, extended wrist locking sequences and quirky, goosestepping katas. It was a way more cerebral approach to old skool ju-jitsu. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I truly believe, learning all the stuff and training towards that second dan black belt made me think about ju-jitsu in a very different way. It was much less spoonfed and much more about self-discovery, if you'll excuse the pompous description.

So, back to my point about the purple belt.

I have noticed that I'm taking a lot more interest in the mechanics and concepts behind BJJ techniques. Stuff like the spiral guard or Braulio's Invisible Jiu-Jitsu series I probably would not have really been interested in 6 months ago. But discovering concepts and mechanics and other stuff for yourself is quite a revelation and far removed from the endless repetitive drilling (which of course is still important). It's only the beginning for me, so we'll see how far I get concepting with BJJ.

The Japanese people don't do Japanese ju-jitsu anymore. That died out an epoch ago. But they do love MMA and BJJ. Here's a really cool video blog, titled Grappling Dummies 2.0, by fellow blogger Martial Farts that I urge you to take some time out, sit down with some popcorn, or sushi, and enjoy!

Grappling Dummies 2.0 BJJ in Japan from martial farts on Vimeo.

Finally, I would like to say good luck to all my team-mates and BJJ buddies for the big BJJ tournament in Lisbon happening at the end of this week. I don't regret bailing out of my situation and sadly I've not been able to sell on my flight tickets (due to the scandalous re-selling 'additional fees' imposed by Easyjet) but I will eagerly look out for the familiar names when the results table get published.

About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Liam H Wandi said...

Welcome to the dark side of endless spirals into each tiny technique. :)

A.D. McClish said...

I've never seen traditional Japanese Jiu-jitsu in person or had the chance to grapple anyone who trained it, but I would imagine it gives a unique flavor to your game. Probably makes you harder to predict! :)

Meerkatsu said...

Well Allie, the main difference between trad and Brazilian jitsu forms is that the trad systems do not do sparring. Some schools might do a little, but it is only a tiny fraction of the system, whereas as we know, BJJ is tons of live sparring.
However what trad JJ gave me is a head-start when it comes to figuring out joint locks, leverage, weight distribution, push-pull action and a host of other aspects. After all, they both come from the same source.

PTG - yep, every technique has an infinite degree of perfection to attain. just when you think you know a collar choke, you see Roger Gracie do it and you realise, you know nothing.

Olive Tree said...

Hi, it's a very great blog.
I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
Keep doing!

Two Seperate Gorillas said...

As a trad JJ person I'd second Meerkat's description of the difference. For good or ill (cue endless tedious debate) we focus much less on live sparring. However the principles behind the techniques are pretty similar.

Meerkat and Nick Brookes are good examples of people with extensive trad training who've switched over to BJJ.

A.D. McClish said...

Sounds really interesting. Also sounds more similar to Judo. Am I wrong?

Meerkatsu said...

In a way yeah. The 'trad' JJ these days is an amalgam of old ryu stuff, aikido, karate and judo - especially the throws.
Imagine a judo throw where after the throw, you get to punch your attacker or pin him, then lock his joints, then punch him...there's lots of punching :)
Although trad JJ gave me a head start, I've never really been able to translate that into BJJ much. However Roy Dean is a great example of someone who has successfully integrated traditional ju-jitsu and aikido into his style of BJJ. If you watch him, he's very poised and balanced and just really really knows his stuff.

NinjaEditor said...

I'm starting BJJ very soon and have been looking for well-written BJJ blogs to read. Subscribing to yours and looking forward to reading!

Meerkatsu said...

Thanks for taking time to read and post a comment Ninja Editor. Good luck starting with BJJ, I hope you like it. Will you carry on with your previous MA?
I shall keep an eye on your BJJ developments through your blog too.
BTW. My next few articles posted here will be aimed at newcomers to the sport, eg what gi to buy and other stuff, so stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.


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