I missed today's gringo class, I went for a walk to find an ATM to pay my gym fees and it ended up taking a little longer than I anticipated.
Did my first Brazilian class. Gerbil lead the warm up which was typical of most BJJ classes, a variety of types of movement in a circle, then some shrimping and other related stuff, then a bit of abs.
Then we did some warm up takedowns. I wasn't sure what the **** was going on at first and looked like an idiot. We were just doing 20 reps of starting whatever take down. I looked like a dumbass because my takedowns never involve throws. Oh well.
So that was pretty much the extent of the class, the rest was all rolling. As I understand it that's pretty typical of the Brazilian classes- warmup, very small amount of technique, and then all rolling.
My first roll was with a purple belt my size that, I swear to god, looked like Jacare. He was extremely good and was very dominant, finishing me with two armbars. He was a friendly dominant though, which I was happy to see, I wasn't sure how gringos were going to be treated out here. Anyways, after trying to survive for 5 minutes I got in with a blue belt that was smaller than me. I swept him at least twice and held mount for much of the round, fighting for an ezekiel, americana, or arm triangle while trying to keep position. I eventually switched to...what's it called...s-mount? I forget. Anyways I switched my mount style and went for the armbar, he rolled with me and stacked me, I swept at the leg and rolled him down and finished the armbar. The rest of the round went the same with me just sinking in an armbar by the end of the round. Third round I had another blue who was a stalemate for much of the match, we spent alot of time with me in half guard trying to get through to little avail. He ended up catching me with an armbar but both hands were trapped, so I stomped my foot to tap. Haha. I didn't know how to say tap in portugese. Anyways he let it go luckily. I spent a second trying to get him to tell me how to say 'tap' in portugese. He looked apologetic like I was mad or something but I totally wasn't. Anyways, it's pado or pao, or something along those lines.
The Brazilian class is real cool. I met Gordo today. He's a very stoic and slightly intimidating fellow who watches quietly from the side of class. He kind of reminds me of the bad guy in the Mummy. Sometimes you don't know what the **** Gordo is saying but you figure it out as you go and sort of keep your head down and do what everyone else is doing. Anyways, something different about the classes out here - the highest belt chooses the matchups for every roll. So your opponents are literally handpicked for you every time. I like this method because it makes you feel like he's paying attention to what you're doing, it gives you decent matchups, and it avoids the whole awkward 30 seconds between rounds where you have to look around the room and find eye contact with a guy and do the whole "You? Me? Yeah."
My ear is starting to get sore again so I got some headgear to wear from now on. God, headgear is dorky. Oh well.
The house is real cool and a fun group of people. As usual from what I've seen in my travels, the UK guys are the funniest and most outrageous guys. Gerbil is kind of like the unspoken leader of the house and is a real charismatic, fun guy around. In case you don't know who Gerbil is, this his blog
that lead me to exactly where I am today. Everyone's out to go get a late night snack at one of the local bakerys where there's a delicious variety of breads that you pick meat and cheese for them to melt together. I'm sticking to my groceries tonight, so here I am with you guys. I bought some acai concentrate to add to my water. This stuff is delicious, I'll have to try some fresh stuff though. One thing that's kind of went haywire today is our water isn't working on one side of the house. My gi is beyond stinky and there's little hope that it's going to get cleaned today. I'll probably be picking up another one tomorrow, or doing the no-gi until Dennis brings it for me.