Monday, March 31, 2014

Ruckus Clan Zurich 3-31-14

I spent most of the day at my companies local office in Zurich. I did this for a couple of reasons. The main one being that I knew I would have an internet connection. Having internet meant that I could get some of the back half of my travel plans set in stone, that being one less thing I would have to worry about. Secondly, I would have somewhere to eat, for free. With the expensive prices in Zurich, this would be a budget saver and a half during my time here. It took be about 19 Swiss Francs to travel out to the office, but I would have spent more than that one breakfast and lunch alone, and that’s not counting paying for internet access on top of it. When it was time to go train, I took the public transportation out to the athletic center that the gym was situated in.

After arriving and getting into my gi, I headed up to the training area. Igor, who was one of the senior purple belts, and the guy who runs the no-gi classes, was also taking charge of the warmup. Initially the warmup seemed pretty tame and what I would normally have to do back home. It stated off consisting of running, moving inside and outside, doing ankle slaps, and running knee raises. Then things switched up into a different rhythm. Now, keep in mind that Igor was running everything in German, no English at all. I had to watch everyone else to see what it was that I was supposed to be doing exactly. We kicked off into a large amount of jumping jacks, then a front jumping jack kind of motion. This went on for a couple of rounds, and my legs were starting to burn from the warmup combined with all the walking and stair climbing I had been doing. Next we started doing body weight squats, well shit…here we go! We did a couple of rounds of these and at the end we stood in a lunge position for a 30 count for each leg. Funnily enough, I almost ate shit during each lunge hold from quadriceps failure. The exercises seemed to be never ending, sit-ups (or crunches for me), leg lifts, leg extensions, leg holds, and then finally it was all over with 5 minutes of stretching. 

Next we started the drills for the evening. The first drill consisted of standing with uke in open guard in front of you. You want to grab the gi pants and base out with Saulo’s “headquarters” position. The headquarters position looks like a wide legged squat of sorts, which I probably looked drunk doing due to my quads being shredded already. Next you want to hip forward, effectively stacking your opponent, but with one knee in-between ukes legs, and the other bracing the leg of the side that you’re going to pass on. The hand opposite of the passing side will reach out and grab onto ukes ankle to help pull his legs away from the passing side. 

The second drill added to the first, but included bit more towards the passing portion of of the drill. Again, grab the lapel opposite of the side that you’re passing on. Keeping your elbows in as tight as your can to help block against the knee shield. When doing this, you will want to have your posture down low with your ahead approaching ukes chest. If you’re afraid of getting choked, like me, you shouldn’t be. When executed fast enough, you won’t be in a position to get choked anymore. The next thing you want to do is it hip in and pressure, like we did above. Bring your knee into ukes thigh, close to the groin (in compeition, you should probably just put it in the groin for added effect) and pointing forward. You want your free leg bracing for base but never fully extended. 

During the second drill I was having issues with keeping my based due to my overused thigh muscles. I kept messing up the positioning and putting myself where I felt more comfortable as opposed to where I would have been more effective. The partner I was working with, an older blue belt, was trying to help me out with pointers here and there. Keep your feet forward, don’t overextend the leg, get lower, and come further in when stacking. 

The final part of the drill was finally shooting for the pass. I have a very bad habit of hipping into my passes entirely too much, leaving myself open for a knee shield (which always comes). I’ve been trying to correct this over the past few months, but in the heat of a roll the bad habit always rears its head and I end up getting a knee shield up in my face and chest. 

After the drilling portion of things we moved onto sparring. Finally getting some good sleep paid off overall with a lot of the matches I was in. Surprisingly I kept finding myself in my go to half guard, the lockdown, that I had learned from the 10th Planet academy in town that I originally started my BJJ journey at. Maybe it was from watching Metamoris 3 that I was subconsciously trying to channel my inner Eddie Bravo, sans the “heefer” as Master Renato Laranja would say. I have trouble from the lockdown, I can hold it pretty damn well against most people. However getting into position for the sweeps is usually a difficult task that takes a lot of patience on my part, waiting for that exact moment to strike. I was able to get a couple of sweeps out of it in class, and one full fledged “electric chair” submission with a tap. All in all it was a pretty good night. 

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