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Training Session – Dec 23rd

December 24, 2007

It’s been a while so let’s catch up before we move on shall we?

This past Thursday’s training session was cancelled so I just worked out.

If you took a peek at this past week’s schedule, Friday was a rest day because I had a bounenkai that night. A bounenkai is an end of the year party where the Japanese forget the year’s bad moments. I kinda like that idea. Especially if you end up drinking a lot and dressing up like this…


See! This blog just isn’t about Jiu-jitsu! Plus don’t ever say the Japanese don’t have a sense of humor. Just takes a while to come out. After a few drinks that is.

Saturday the weather was rainy so no sequential fatigue challenge for me. Which leads to this post.

This weekend, I went up to Fukuma to train with my friend Jon. His stand up is really good and he trained in Tae Kwon Do before venturing into MMA so his main weapon of choice – kicks.

Jon (on the right) with his student, who’s also Jon’s Tae Kwon Do Club Captain at his high school (red shorts). Jon’s captain entered an amateur MMA tournament. His first one. And like me, gassed out. He must have been nervous. The guy in the center, Jon’s captain’s younger brother (he’s still in high school).

So on Sunday morning we drove 30 min from his house to a community sports center in Kashi.

There was about 12 – 15 guys there (though it doesn’t look it in the pictures). And the session went for two hours. We had three 3 min warm up exercises which meant either stretching by yourself or slow rolling with anybody. After that for the rest of the first hour it was non-stop 3 min rounds of hard sparring. Grappling only. We took a ten min break at the end of the hour and then went into stand up. Again 3 min rounds though not full out as minimum gear protection was only 12 – 16 oz gloves and shin pads.

I rolled with only four guys including Jon. Did stand up with Jon (got a tripple jab in the face to Jon’s astonishment and mine – well not really mine) and another guy (got hooked in the gut, nice). Hit the pads for a bit (if you didn’t want to spar stand up they had two different guys holding pads) and that was it.

Thoughts on Training:

I only took three pictures. Most of the time I was video tapping, but I only got 20 min out of two hours which is disappointing. I’ll try to post it up if I can find the cord to connect my camcorder to my computer (looking for that all last night).

Anyway, out of the three photos surprising enough I have the three other guys I rolled with in one shot. It was not planned that way…

The tall guy in the back I rolled with first and I rolled with him twice. He was taller and heavier than me, and he knew what he was doing (he successfully competed in amateur MMA as well). He did the basic big man vs small man submission on me – side mount keylock. Though I only tapped out on an triangle armbar. Oh, I tapped him out first.

Second guy I went with was the guy in charge of the whole thing. He’s the guy in orange. At one point I tried to sink in an ankle lock to which he countered with a heel hook my left foot. I bailed on the ankle lock – even though it was deep – because I had my left foot messed up from a previous heel hook a while back and I had to work on escaping. After rolling, we shook hands, he said I was very flexible and that it must be really hard for someone my size rolling with bigger guys. Meaning everyone there except…

The third guy in the picture with the knee pads. A kickboxer who just started training ground work. I had fun with him. That’s the only sparring session of me on the ground that I have on video. I’ll really try to post that and give my critique of myself then.

In general, I know what I need to work on – conditioning. I got tired real fast. I haven’t sparred on that level for a long time. But I have to say that I did fight through a lot of moments that I was really fatigued, though I was not as explosive as I wanted to be.

As far as the training session itself – it was both good and bad.

The Good. Sparring for two hours really works the physical attributes of an athlete. Strength and speed and timing are used at their full potential. If you got bad cardio, it’ll show. If you’re not strong enough, it’ll show. If you’re too slow or react slowly, it’ll show. It’s a great way to walk the walk. Proof is in the pudding, and nothing shows it off more clearly than sparring at full resistance.

The Bad. There is no instructor. The guy in charge is not there to teach. He’s there to make people work. There is no critical assessment. It is non-stop, let’s go, no time to look at what you did wrong. As Aesopian points out at the end of one his posts, with this style of training, the learning curve is steep. Anyone trying to improve their game this way will take along time in trying to do so.
That’s why at the end of the session Jon pulled me aside and asked what could he do more. So as everyone was putting the yellow mats away, I gave Jon a few pointers but I wonder how much of that is going to sink in? If we had half hour of instruction, half hour of drilling and did the last half hour of straight sparring, I think that would be more beneficial for everyone’s growth.

I just need to work on my conditioning.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt permalink
    February 17, 2008 10:03 am

    What!! No way! I know Jon. Actually I was planning on doing some training with him last night, cos I had some part time work in Fukuma.

    I’m still suffering from this never ending cold though, so I decided not to go otherwise I would definitely have given it to him…

    Small world eh…

    Dammit I don’t like blogger that much dude, you should think about chaning to wordpress 🙂

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