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train like you mean it

July 6, 2009

before sparring

It’s amazing what a trip back to the academy, seeing old friends, and chit-chatting about – what else, of course – jiu-jitsu. Fires up the passion for sure.

Went over to Hakapara. I arrived before Tomari-sensei and when he came in he had a bad cough and bags under his eyes. Ah the joys of fatherhood. He spent the night taking care of his baby, who was sick and his recovering-from-being-sick wife. How he manages to still teach and spar is beyond me.

He asked if I was going to participate in class, I told him no, still being patient, really want to get my leg strong and flexible. He was happy I was taking my time and we looked at some really great instructionals and a DVD to pass the time.

I asked one question and got a mini-seminar from Tomari-sensei. Ah, the joys of being the only person in the academy and having a really cool instructor.

Eventually, more people walked in, including Sam who I haven’t seen for awhile. It was really good to see him again. Sam’s been busy with work and his English school, so training for him is a once-a-week affair.


I think that’s been to Sam’s benefit because he took the session very seriously – his intensity was inspiring and he put in a lot of sparring time. I immediately saw the difference in Sam’s game.

His sweeps are sharp and dead on. If Sam wants to sweep, there’s no stopping him now. He passes guard easily, most of the time feinting one way to only go the opposite way. I even saw Sam hold his own against a new blue belt who joined Paraestra that day.

not the blue belt, but still cool to see

I kinda felt sorry for him, the new blue. Hakapara is a scrappy school. He burnt out after positional sparring with Sam.

There was also this really badass guy there who put in a session with the Shooto class AND sparred jiu-jitsu afterwards. He gave Kyuhei-san (the Shooto instructor) a run for his money, matching submission for submission. Then he strapped on a TT Jiu-jitsu gi – founded by Eduardo Telles and Fernando Terere – and gave Tomari-sensei a run for his money as well.

against all odds
poor, poor white belt

What was cool about this guy was that he toned down his jiu-jitsu when he rolled with the white belts. That’s incredible skill for sure. He still owned them, but it wasn’t a crazy feeding frenzy. More like nibbles on a bait, until there was nothing left on the hook.

Watching both Sam and that guy roll (they didn’t spar together though) made me eager to get fully prepared. But, yes, I didn’t train but I’m feeling much more centered and a lot better, now that I spent some quality time on the mats.

sam's open guard

Just gotta stay away from them badge making websites…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2009 5:44 am

    waaaaaaaah, I want to train at Hakapara BAD man… good on you for being patient.
    Shit, I wish I could go back to hakapara.

    • July 7, 2009 8:36 am

      I wanna train BAD too. Sometimes I still have that psycho look in my eyes, like I want to armbar the nearest person in a gi. But, yes, patience…

      And we miss you too 🙂

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