Last night was the first class at the clubs new location and we had about 50 guys present on the mat. Due to the large turnout it made the normal warm up difficult so running around the mats was not an option. Instead we did star jumps, squats, sprinting on the spot and knee jumps but worked up a good sweat nonetheless.
We didn’t practice any techniques at all tonight instead we started with a drill where one of you sat down with the other behind with one hook in and an over under grip. When Ricardo gave the signal the person behind had 30 seconds to secure the second hook and/or get a submission. The first person I was paired with was Dan who, since I last visited the club, has gotten his black belt. Obviously I wasn’t successful in either getting my second hook in or getting the submission but I wasn’t alone in my failure as most were able to defend against this.
Our next drill had one person sitting behind the other, this time with both hooks in and a rear naked choke locking in. The aim this time was to not panic when being choked and try and work your way out of it. When I was the person doing the choking I was able to make my opponent tap and when I was being choked I tapped very quickly due to the pain on my Adam’s apple.
Our last drill again involved putting a choke on your partner who then had to try and escape. This time the person being choked started on their back with the other person mounting them. The choke was Nami juji jime. When I put this on my partner he fought for a few seconds so I leant forward to make it really tight. After a couple of gurgling sounds he tapped so I immediately let go but when I got off him I realised that he had passed out, albeit just for a few seconds. He didn’t seem too bothered about it and actually apologised to me for not tapping sooner. I was just glad that he was ok and able to continue training, which he did without any fuss.
After a quick water break we went straight in to sparring. As there was so many of us only half could spar at one time so Ricardo picked the matchups for the first fights and paired me with a stocky purple belt. He started fairly gently and kind of let me get in to a good position but after he realised I wasn’t a complete beginner he exploded in to life and had me in all sorts of trouble. At one point I’m sure he was trying to put a twister on me but I managed to escape. Near the end of our 3 minute roll he started to apply an Ude-garami on me and in my effort to escape I made a grunting noise which signalled to him that I was in pain so he let go of the submission. I wasn’t about to tap but I’m sure he could have cranked it on a bit harder so I wasn’t too bothered about it.
I rolled with a couple of blue belts afterwards but I tried to attack a bit more this week. I actually managed to get Mune gatame a couple of times and switched between Mune and Kesa whilst I tried to look for a submission. I must admit, giving up a Judo pin to go for a submission doesn’t feel right at the moment but at least I am able to get in to these positions in the first place.
My last roll of the night was against a guy who wasn’t wearing a gi but instead wore a rashguard and shorts. I assume he must be training purely for MMA. This was to be my most successful roll of the night as I secured an Americana and an armbar for my only submissions of the night.
In all I had 6 rolls of 3 minutes each and was totally exhausted at the end and yet at the same time I felt energised.
We had a couple of team photos taken at the end of the class; you can just about see me at the back (the tall blonde guy on the right).