22 Sep 2006

Oli from Roger Gracie’s club came to visit our JJ dojo last week. It was a good session with him offering to roll with the guys and share some techniques. Well it was ok until he sparred with me and somehow ended up popping his knee. Oops. I bet he now thinks it was all a ploy to eliminate him as a potential competing dojo – but it was an honest accident.

Meerkat’s day job is to produce photographic feature stories for the Science Photo Library. And I have been thinking of ways to combine my two passions (science and martial arts) into one feature. It’s taken about five years of thinking in fact but finally, I have completed the story. It will be aimed at the 12-17 year old market of kids who are healthily into computer games and kungfu movies. The story will be something cheesy like ‘’How to be a black belt in 10 easy steps’ but it’s a thinly disguised article on biomechanics, Newtonian physics, anatomy and medicine. Well that’s the plan, I haven’t quite finished it yet, but once it is finished, I will cobble together some photos from the SPL collection and offer it to youth mags. There are some interesting facts I found out in research, like human bone is 40 times stronger than concrete, and that a karate expert can punch at a speed of 24 miles per hour.

The science of making things up as you go along

Oli from Roger Gracie’s club came to visit our JJ dojo last week. It was a good session with him offering to roll with the guys and share so...

18 Sep 2006

My training program in prep for the big tournament is going gradually down the pan
but what can you do? Marriage, kids, parents, work - all these take precedence over silly hobbies such as martial arts. No wonder history's most eminent martial artists were either celibate monks or lone samurai!
All except Helio Gracie. The man who brought us 'Gracie Jiu-Jitsu' had 9 children. It beggars belief he had the time or energy. The trick I guess is the get your kids really into martial arts and then you have the best excuse to continue training whilst also being seen as the committed and active father. This too, will be my plan. Now breakfall Aimee!!!

Next Tuesday I'm hoping to hook up with a chap who is a student of Roger Gracie and is starting a BJJ club at Imperial College. I said he should pop down to our dojo and informally help us out with some ground work, which he agreed to do. Since there are a growing number of IJJC members who love the ground work, it would be a good opportuity for him to advertise his club. I'll report on how it goes next blog entry.

No more sightings of my Royler Gracie photo-shoot. Oh well, one obscure wrestling mag will have to do. So much for my budding career as a photographer to the stars. Never mind, I wouldn't have the time anyway.

Last Sunday I visited Blitz, the martial arts supplier. After my purchases, I asked the counter guy if he could point out any local parks since it was a lovely day and I cuold take Aimee for a walk. He looked at me, then silently beckoned me to follow him outside, which I did. Once outside, he looked at me and said, There you go, our local park. Following the direction of his finger, I stared for ages, but at last found the 'park'. He was pointing to a tiny square of grass where dogs crap and one lamppost stands. No more words were needed. The urban blight of decrepit underdevelopment that is Woolwich and Royal Arsenal (and I include the fancy new homes in that sentance) has left little in the way of public amenities. Shame.
My training program in prep for the big tournament is going gradually down the pan but what can you do? Marriage, kids, parents, work - all ...

11 Sep 2006

IJJC Club members enjoyed a successful kyu gradings last Sunday. We had ten in all and a very good standard was achieved by all. Special mention to Rob and Aubrey who endured their purple belt gradings in a hall heated up by the unseasonable hot weather outside. It was so hot that someone passed out doing their grading.

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Gradings are a strange concept if you think about it. You train hard for months and months and then it all comes down to how you perform on the day. The key word here is 'perform'. It's no difference really to practising a play or learning a new choreography for a musical. You learn to become very technically adept. But one could reasonably argue that it begins to get a bit too rehearsed and a bit far removed from the vagaries of self-defence reality.
This is why I am a big advocate of sparring - any kind of sparring be it ground or stand-up or even a mixture of both. With sparring, you get to practice against resistance under controlled conditions.
And it is sparring practice that Meerkat is clearly lacking in.
Today, I was set-up big time. Last week, all the class at RGDA learned a new submission. I think it was called the Koala Bear crush - and I thought koalas were cute cuddly creatures? Erm, maybe someone can correct me on the name.
I was in Adam's guard and he proceeded to work his way into squeezing my rib cage until it was reduced to about half the size. The pain was unbearable and the ear-piercing yell made everyone in the class stop to look. Then everyone laughed in unison. Hello? Had I missed something? Turns out the class I missed last week was where everyone learned that move and they themselves recognised the same blood curdling yell, so when I did it,they knew I was the sucker that fell for that one. Ha, well, now I know it so I ain't falling for it again!
Right now, I am definitely paying the price for long absences from BJJ training. Everyone is streets ahead and I am struggling to keep up with even the new white belts. But I am setting myself a training schedule and, crossed fingers, if I can stick to it, then I should be back to my full potential come Jikishin tournament time.

Bear hugs

IJJC Club members enjoyed a successful kyu gradings last Sunday. We had ten in all and a very good standard was achieved by all. Special me...

 

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