5 Feb 2010

Half Guard Killer

The academy was really warm last night. I’m not referring to the physical temperature (which actually was still a shade above freezing), but warm because our guest instructor, David Onuma, managed to get the whole gang of us laughing, smiling and generally having a thoroughly entertaining evening.

David went through techniques he liked to call his ‘half guard killers’. These were techniques – actually one technique – in which you flatten your half guarding bottom guy and then work to pass his guard. It was pretty cool because as I mentioned in my previous post, my last private less was with Oli who showed me his favourite half-guard sweeps and submissions. I always like it when a plan comes together.

What I think got the academy (which was rammed with students) so enthused was not only David’s fantastic blend of gags, impressions, jokes and personal anecdotes, but also his very clear and very precise explanation of the techniques. You know like in those courtroom dramas, where the lawyer gets to make his closing speech and the jury is supposed to be in rapt attention as he delivers his passionate plea for a guilty/not guilty verdict? Well, David orates his instruction just like that…and it’s no coincidence that lawyering is his day job. Anyway, he was very good at holding our attention and communicating his techniques.

Later on in the evening I was privileged to get to spar with David. Now, I quite like my BJJ analogies, and so do a few others, so here’s one more to add to the list…sparring with black belts is like swimming in a deep pool, where the only thing you know is the doggy paddle and the pool has a huge wave machine on one end, and a shoal of piranhas at the other. Ie not fun, but hey, at least you are swimming, albeit swimming into something bad!

David is a lot heavier than me so he gave me tons of space and did not put any weight on. This meant I could roll and spin, push and pull to my hearts content…only, it made no difference. He just switched from one position to another, gliding over me like a well-oiled machine. He would let me do precisely 50 percent of a technique, lets say for example, my scissor sweep, and then neutralise it and counter it then squish me, all in one go. Amazing!

I can see why he has won x3 IBJJF European gold medals and is a black belt in a zillion arts.
All in all a great session, so my thanks once again to David. I’m looking forward to more.

About the Author


Author & Artist

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


matt said...


A.D. McClish said...

Sounds like a fun class!

Jason said...

BJJ is about fun and when you can get a instructor like that it takes all the tedious parts out.


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