Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I guess this blog pretty much evolved from being my personal site of ramblings to a more focused subject which is also my hobby ~ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu , short for BJJ
Friday, December 19, 2008
The Jits withdrawal syndrome is getting worse, often sending us into state of boredom and loneliness. We had to find a place to get our fix and fast. On Thursday night, several die hard adicts paid a visit to Crush MMA gym. We arrived at the center at 8:45PM, class commenced at 9:10PM. Here's a field report of our encounter.
The class was thought by Brazilian Black Belt Marcos Escobar. Leong, Dingo, Willie and I were introduced to everyone in the class, there were about 13 students that night. We went thru a gruesome 15 mins warm up. This included bear crawls, jogging, sprinting, skipping, crunches, push ups, more bear crawls! Reminds me of Adam's class taught at KDT. After the torture, we were shown 3 techniques on how to escape from knee ride on belly. We were told to pair up to drill the same technique for 20mins. Water breaks were given at least 3 times thru out the class. After which we were then paired up again. This time the game was to simply escape from side control( for the the bottom player) or establish knee ride or submission for the guy on top. The person that manages to do this was allowed to remain in the game. Each person were given 3 rounds to stay in this game after which we switched.
We ended the class with at least 5 rounds of sparring, 5 mins each. I managed only 3 rounds. My observation is that the students here are more experienced if compared to Ding's, perhaps about the same level as the students at KDT. Each of them have their own unique game. I am glad to say that their students are quite good and live up to their ranks. Escobar was also very friendly and treated us much as his own students. One thing I notice that he had no qualms in giving tips to anyone even if you are a guest. While we were rolling, he kept yelling pointers at us. He calls us by our names, which I am amazed that he could remember all of us since there were 4 of us that night. I find such gestures very encouraging especially when you are on someone else turf.
Overall, the people here are relax and friendly, almost family like, when we left, they were singing birthday songs in Protugese I think :-). That was about 11PM. So, if you are looking for a Black Belt with several world titles under his belt residing in Kuala Lumpur, this is the place to be.
I would like to Thank everyone at Crush that made our visit a pleasent and enjoyable one!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
With KDT closed for the year, I had to find me a place to practice. So I decided to drop by Ding's on Monday night.
The class commenced at 8PM sharp. Janson started the warm up session for about 15 mins. It was a bit more intense compared to the one I am used to at KDT but nothing that I couldn't handle. After which we were broken into 2 groups, Mandeng(the second instructor) lead the more experience grapplers thru a series of guard sweeps and Janson took the beginners thru a series of basic moves. After about 40 mins, we started drilling the techniques we learnt for the night. Also in the equation was drilling with both our hands in our belts. Where the objective is to sweep your opponent from guard without the use of your hands. We then spent the remaining 20 mins sparring with each other. Janson made me roll with 4 guys consecutively with 1 min rest in between and 5 mins each round! I was exhausted after that but it felt great and I had a lot of fun.
Overall, the people there are friendly. In my opinion, the class was very well run. Their format much alike KDT. Safety of participants were also accounted for at all times. People there are like a family and the atmosphere is relax. I had a great workout and met may new faces. Many of whom just started about 3-4 months. In all, we had around 13 students that night. With some familiar faces too like Chen and Leong from KDT. There were also 2 students from Crush, Fang and Raul. I had the opportunity to roll with Fang that night, this dude has certainly improved. The last time I rolled with him was more than a year ago. He has a wicked guard game now ;-)
Congrats to Janson and Mandeng for the great effort at spreading this wonderful art!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I did mention that I might be leaving this country next year. Due to the bad global economy, employers over there would rather offer jobs to their locals hard hit by recession. I would most probably settle for an internal transfer. That means I should be able to continue BJJ. However, I'll have to be more flexible with my training days. Since KDT don't do BJJ everyday and my job would involve more late nights. I'll have to rearrange my training days by adding CMD into the picture.
I've crafted out a plan for next year. Thanks to my training buddy Mikey, he got me off some basics on the stand up and what's it like to be pounded while in guard and mount, Thanks Mikey!! I notice that in BJJ we have all the time in the world to think of our escape. We even have the luxury of grabbing on to our opponent's Gi for technique too. Took my Gi off, put on some grappling gloves and the game changed so dramatically..God forbid if I ever got into a physical confrontation with someone that knows how to ground and pound!
I had a good chat with Mikey about balancing out our training regime with limited time on our hands. The drawback, we won't improve as fast if we focused solely on one. But at the same time, we would have a better idea of the 3 phases of combat ~ standup, clinch and ground work. In my opinion, BJJ focuses on 90% ground work, 10% clinch and practically little or no standup at all. I took a good look at my ultimate goal, which is for fitness, self defense and stress release. Therefore, I figure such an arrangement would benefit me.
Depending on my availability thru out the week, I'm planning to variant my training days by including 1 BJJ and 1 CMD in a week or whichever comes first. This would give me the flexibility to drop in whenever my schedule permits. I really hope to keep the same consistency(2x a week). I'll leave Saturday open mats an open opportunity....
Let's see how things go in 2009. My ultimate goal next year is the same as this year and the year before. Improve overall game, maintain physical and mental sanity! How am I going to achieve it? Answer: include CMD with BJJ training, consistency and discipline. Oh yeah...Have Fun Learning new stuff!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Just awhile back, a couple of my buddies at the gym were promoted. This got me wondering what the promotion is all about...Here's my perspective:
In traditional MA, promotions are awarded after a student have passed an official test. However, for BJJ I noticed that it's very different. At my gym, people are graded based on their everyday performance. There is no official grading syllabus, no pass or fail.. it's more like an informal affair. One fine day my instructor may decide to do some house keeping, the students are called out and are expected to roll with 3 other students consecutively for 4-5 minutes each.
I think the important value to demonstrate during the grading process is determination. From my experience, by the time I'm done rolling with the second person, I feel so tired that my fear of being submitted on my big day began to loom on me. Also, depending on whom you roll with, you can be sure your sparring buddy isn't going to go light on you. In fact, I strongly believe that a good sparring partner shouldn't be too light and at the same time too rough to injure you. The whole purpose of this test is to push you to your limits, only then we'll be able to see how the real you reacts when the adrenalin really starts to pump. Honestly, it's quite exciting to see people being graded. I was fortunate enough to be sparring buddies for 2 comrades that were graded recently. At first I thought I was too hard on him, but my worries subsided knowing that my real intention was not to hurt him but to bring out the best in him. The ceremony concludes after the student walks thru a gauntlet and the instructor ties the belt around the student's waist.
So at the end of the day it's not about tapping or being tapped out. In my opinion, the notion of promoting a student is to motivate the individual to improve his skills further. I also believe it's a way to commemorate a student's hard work. The criterion doesn't necessary mean that one has to be an unbeatable bad ass. Different schools have different training goals, I'm very fortunate to be training at a school that is supportive of a person's holistic growth rather than competitiveness.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Frankly, I'm glad I took BJJ up. It brought me so much enjoyment. For me it is a medium to boost my self esteem, weight control and a great form of stress relief. I always feel recharged, rejuvenated and most of all, happy after a good roll!
However, I don't live the pure jiu-jitsu lifestyle like some people enjoy. I have a day job and my day job needs some changes. I've been working for the past 7 years for the same company. My work have become stale. I've struggled to keep myself alive. I wake up many mornings, dragging myself to the office. I remind myself that this is a world wide phenomenon and that everyone goes thru the same thing and I'm not alone. Come 5PM, I look forward to my training. On days that I don't train I spend time conditioning. Usually working out outside my house. I don't think I can go on with the same job forever. I have decided that a change is needed. With changes comes sacrifices. So much so that my regular routines might have change too.
If things work out, I should be leaving this country with my wife for a good 3 years at least. I'm not sure if I'll be able to look for another training center over there but I would certainly try. I know one thing for certain, I'll miss home :-(