28 June 2011

A New Beginning

So I officially changed schools over the weekend.  I cleared everything first with my old coach so that no bridges were burnt.  He understood that this is life.

I was very apprehensive and nervous driving to my first class.  I had committed myself to changing and everything would be new. I was definitely stepping outside my comfort zone.  The hardest part is the commute, but I think the longer class and tuition I’m receiving should offset that.

After all the formals I jumped on the mat before class and was greeted by one of the blues for a light roll.  A nice introduction; we didn’t try to go at it hard.  We just played a lot with give and take.  The class itself was excellent.  It was only the beginner Gracie self-defence but the instructor gave a lot of good details so both beginner and advanced students could take away something.

What else was a nice surprise was that there was another black belt in the class.  So come the free rolling part of the night I got to roll with a black belt – AWESOME!!! I love the feeling of being swept effortlessly – it just makes me think there is so much to learn in this art.  I made sure I didn’t go too hard with anyone, and just tap if I was caught instead of fighting stubbornly.  There isn’t as many intermediate belts as my old gym but I can feel that everyone really tries to get technique over strength.

So overall an awesome first class. Even though it was a beginner class I actually picked up quite a few details that would help going from side back to hooks in back control.  The other students were great, the gym was great, and best of all there is a massive drawing of Rickson hanging up on the main wall overlooking the mats – awesome!

24 June 2011

Sensitivity and Balance

Ok I’ve been slack and haven’t posted in awhile.  Two things have played on my mind and that is motivation and acceptance for my existing gym.  Since starting privates I’ve noticed my attendance for my gym has been declining, and that my motivation for going there is also declining.  I’m just getting so much out of my privates that I feel like my old gym is just not progressing me in any way. I don’t feel accepted at the gym.  So I’m thinking of making the switch permanently to the Rickson (and Kron) Gracie affiliate school.

It’s a lot further away – 45mins to 2 hours depending on how bad traffic is – each way. Still I think overall the change will be for the better.  It’s a personal thing, sometimes you start BJJ at one school but you just don’t click there in the same way. I don’t think it’s bad to change schools as you can never know what another school is like when you first start BJJ.I got into this art because of Rickson Gracie, so really that’s where my heart is telling me to go.

On other topics I’ve been working a lot on sensitivity to movement and balance.  Interesting enough I just happened to come across a Rickson Gracie video of him doing a private lesson on a Swiss balls.  He demonstrating some great exercises that I think can directly apply to Jiu Jitsu. The three main exercises were:

  1. Lie flat on the ball and try to keep balance without touching ground.
  2. Put knees on ball and then stand up on the ball and do squats (that’s right…squats) without falling off.
  3. Lie on back on ground and put a leg on the ball, elevate your hips off the ground and keep balance.  You can even practise going to your sides if you want.

All of these sound easy, but for me they work so many aspects of sensitivity, balance, muscle and timing.  I’m starting to incorporate these exercises into the Gynastica Natural exercises.  I think they compliment each other very nicely and will help my Jiu Jitsu.

Rickson Gracie demonstrating some balance sensitivity.

I can’t last 3 seconds in the first exercise without touching the ground.  The second exercise I finally got both of my feet onto the ball after a couple of days.  I can’t stand yet.  As for the last exercises: I don’t feel I have enough power or more correctly the power isn’t being directed correctly onto one leg.

Anyhow it’s a great video showing just how much body awareness he has…