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Old 07-20-2010, 11:14 PM   #661 (permalink)
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This is fascinating and part of the many reasons I enjoy overseas training chronicles so much.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:15 PM   #662 (permalink)
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Got up very early to get to the Rickson Gracie seminar today. Gerbil led us astray and we ended up arriving 10 minutes late. The seminar was good. I don't feel particularily energetic this evening, so I'm not going to try too hard to enrich it with my extreme writing skills.

There was maybe 60 people, around 15 of which were black belts. The seminar was 4 hours long, and like I said earlier, 200$US. The focus was largely on principles of jiu jitsu. You know, leverage, connection, weight distribution, etc. The kind of stuff we know is there and talk about, but something that at least I don't constantly keep in mind and explore. The seminar was based around various techniques to demonstrate these principles; taking a simple technique and changing or concentrating on a few details that really make or break the move. I'll go over what I can.

The first parts were in the standup. As we arrive people were being headlocked by their partner emphasizing hip movement to lift their partner instead of their backs. We then did something similar, our partners taking a grip across our face or our neck from behind us, then instead of trying to bend over and heave them, we stuck our asses out and actually walked back, Royce described it like sitting on a couch, lifting our partners with relative ease. Then we worked on balance while taking grips in the stand up. The essential part of this is that of two people connected by a grip, one is always going to have a better balance. So we learned how to be the center of balance, which to me was simply having a wider stance against your opponents, and more importantly, shifting the weight of your body through your hips from one leg to another. With this in mind we took a grip on our partner as they drive to drive us backwards and pull us forwards as we focused on the energy of the connection and shifting accordingly to maintain the center of balance. From there we learned the side kick that Royce always used to use. Rickson was pushing it hard as a way to defend from attacking strikers. I don't know. I wasn't feeling it.

This is getting long. I'm going to finish this later. The rest is getting blurry and I'll have to harass Jeremy to help me remember.

Competing tomorrow at noon. My first opponent is from Brazilian Top Team, wish me luck! Will get video if I can.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:16 PM   #663 (permalink)
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yo yo

Did the tournament today. Goddamnit, why am I always so exhausted when I write these things?

Tournaments in Brazil are really cool. The major differences being:

-The tournaments run smooth, and actually meet posted times.
-The refs know what they're doing.
-People are actually excited by jiu jitsu. There's even cheering!
-The level of experience of the entrants is completely backwards. Back home it's all white belts, some blues, a couple purple, and if you're lucky you'll see a pair of browns go at it. Out here the white belt is the smallest division, then it just gets bigger and bigger, with two of the 4 days dedicated to the black belt divisions. Awesome. Looking forward to those. I want a picture with Saulo.

As for me, I somehow ended up in a rush to get ready this morning and barely ate. I shoved down half a bowl of cereal and then we caught our cab to the tournament, where I had a couple bananas to hold me over. It wasn't enough. I felt so crappy.

My turn came up before long and I met my opponent beforehand. He was Brazilian and named Ygor. Nice guy, but let's just say not the most intimidating looking fellow. He tried to flop to the ground, not really sure what he was going for, but I ended up in his half guard. Passed eventually. I think he turtled and I took his back. Maybe even twice I had to take it. Apparently I need to see the video again. Anyhow, I finally finished with a bow and arrow choke, and so the thing I lost to in my last tournament became my first weapon in the next one.

Beginning of first match
Just a teaser for now...my camera ran out of memory like a minute in, so the rest is on my friend's camera. I'll get that up ASAP.

Then I had some time to rest up. God I felt awful. I forgot to mention, I've had the shits like crazy these past couple days, and I was legitimately worried that I might shit my pants during the competition today. I used to faint randomly when I was a kid and I was strongly reminded of that feeling today. Jack, a fighter from the U.K. in the house, brought me something to eat and gave me a swig of his gatorade. I ate like one piece of toast and immediately started going for a walk to the bathroom, just in case. I didn't make it, a girl from the house was warming up in the back hallway as I dash right next to them and spew vomit into the trash can. Nice to see you too. After that was out of me I was feeling better. I don't understand why it happened. I don't feel sick, and I really wasn't feeling overly nervous, so it wasn't like a jiu jitsu version of 8 mile or anything though the dingy bathroom and the situation did kind of remind me of the movie.

So anyways, I go up for my second match. Another Brazilian, he avoids me entirely and has the tough guy face on. The guy pulls guard on me. Or half guard. Either way, he ended up in deep half guard. Something I had heard about, but never really experienced. As far as I know and could tell it was a stalling position. So I did what I normally do with a half guard and fought for the underhook and tried to free my leg. My leg was not trapped with much force, but the position was such that in order to free it I would have to get way off balance. You could tell this was what he wanted because as I adjusted to try to get free he kept trying to sweep me. So I didn't know how to pass this 'deep half guard' so I decide to just make it really uncomfortable for the stalling son of a bitch by driving my elbow into his neck and throat. Eventually I passed into side control, I think crucifix. This guy was better than me so I wasn't going anywhere with that. He ended up reguarding and as I was reaching for a collar, I dunno, I accidentally kind of smacked him in the face as the round ended. Anyways, I apologized for the accidental smack in Portuguese and that was that, the snooze match was over, and I was going to the gold.

The gold medal opponent was from Canada, go figure. I talked to him a bit before the match, just general chit chat about Brazil and Canada and training. Seemed like a nice guy. He just started amateur mma so maybe I'll be facing off with him again. As for the match, my gameplan was to get him to shoot for a double leg (I don't know, I just felt like he would) and then do this fancy kimura reversal that Dave always used to do on me. However, during the match he didn't shoot and was looking for grips. After a little bit of grabbing I said **** it and jumped guard on him. He was very strong and we sort battled for posture a bit, and I eventually caught the hip bump sweep on him into mount. Then I just held mount with a grapevine with feeble attempts at ezekiels or arm triangles. God, my submissions from mount are awful. The problem is I'm used to just punching people in the face from here. He escaped the mount. Found his way into my side control. Got a choke on me tight, I bridged desperately and then I pussied out and tapped. I could have fought it longer. Why did I give up? I don't know...a moment of mental weakness, I guess. More demons needing to be faced. I'm not impressed because he was good, but I could have beat the guy.

Anyways, I got silver then, which is better than I expected by far. I'm not disappointed in the results, but finding that point of giving up isn't comforting for a fighter, and I let it come too early today.

Fun day all in all. I'll get the video for the matches and picture at the podium when I can get my hands on other people's cameras. I'll also try to get some pictures with familiar faces on the black belt days.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:51 AM   #664 (permalink)
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Silver on tournament in Brazil is great feat! Congratulation.

I never been in tournament.. I have one next week in no-gi grappling.. I hope that I will just erease that I can tap to chokes.. Im not intent to let someone break my arm, but I hope that I will hold enough to pass out.

We will see.. Its not that easy.. Its normal to tap in training. We have to try switch mind to another level - not tapping!

GRATZ!!!
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:51 PM   #665 (permalink)
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that was incredible. the tournament and your fight vid (i watched both). Ive never heard of a bow and arrow choke, could you explain it a little? and congrats on getting silver
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:02 PM   #666 (permalink)
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Thanks guys



Bow and arrow choke at the end of first match

Second match, very boring

Video with my defeat on the way, internet difficulties.


Today I enjoyed the nice weather with some beers at the beach. Met a couple of girls and we'll hopefully meet up again soon. Life feels like it's on easy mode. Some guys from the house are going hang gliding on monday. My god I want to do this but can't justify the expense. My goal is to keep my budget tighter for the rest of my stay here and if my financial status isn't in complete disarray, I'll go hang glide Rio de Janeiro. It's important that I start spreading out the fun expensive shit over my stay here. Will certainly get a picture if I do go.

Back to training this evening, apparently Vinicus 'Draculino' Magalhaes, a renowned fourth degree black belt is running class today.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:40 PM   #667 (permalink)
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My loss
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:53 PM   #668 (permalink)
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Evening class. Most people were at the tournament but a few of us were there. Warmed up, then did an armbar->triangle->armbar->sweep combo. Then we rolled. Played a boring guard game against another blue belt. Rolled Gerbil and got tapped three times. I almost caught him with a pendulum sweep. Almost. I was feeling pretty grumpy with myself at this point, but luckily got matched with a good sized white belt. Caught with an armbar from mount and an arm triangle from mount. Woot.

So for whatever reason Draculino wasn't teaching class, he just showed up with some guys to say hi. Everyone went to go get pictures, but I wasn't overly excited. To be honest, I'd rather get pictures with people if I'd spent time training with them or something. Otherwise I feel like there's a real fakeness to it all. Like "Oh hey, can I get a picture with you, a renowned X degree black belt, so it looks like we trained together, even though I just met you?"
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:01 AM   #669 (permalink)
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So for whatever reason Draculino wasn't teaching class, he just showed up with some guys to say hi. Everyone went to go get pictures, but I wasn't overly excited. To be honest, I'd rather get pictures with people if I'd spent time training with them or something. Otherwise I feel like there's a real fakeness to it all. Like "Oh hey, can I get a picture with you, a renowned X degree black belt, so it looks like we trained together, even though I just met you?"
Don't sweat that kinda stuff, bro. I know the feeling of people getting starstruck around great instructors. I get to train with a fourth degree blackbelt a couple of times a week, but I get starstruck around guys I look up to. Royler's seminar was pretty rough for that.

Still, hopefully you'll get to work with Draculinho at some point. The guy is a legend.

Also, not a bad run at the tournament. Keep working hard. You're game is looking great.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:38 PM   #670 (permalink)
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Don't sweat that kinda stuff, bro. I know the feeling of people getting starstruck around great instructors. I get to train with a fourth degree blackbelt a couple of times a week, but I get starstruck around guys I look up to. Royler's seminar was pretty rough for that.

Still, hopefully you'll get to work with Draculinho at some point. The guy is a legend.

Also, not a bad run at the tournament. Keep working hard. You're game is looking great.
Thanks bro. Your team represented well at the Rio Open today. Did you spend some time in Brazil as well? Are you still in Rio?
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