Ninjer Pile on Me! Hurr!
Posted On:3/13/2005 5:05pm
Style: Bad KB, Worse MT
Ok...I've recovered from the trip and now it is time to weigh in with my thoughts.
Although the Throwdown was scheduled for Saturday, I arrived Friday to take advantage of Aesopian's offer to come train at his BJJ school run by Eduardo de Lima. For those of you not familiar with Eduardo's accomplishments...I suggest you google them or ask Aesopian...they are too numerous and impressive to list for my purposes in this thread.
My personal background in grappling is a hodge-podge of circumstances and instructors going back about 18 months. I'm planning on writing another article regarding this shortly and will include full "credentials" there. My main concern heading into both the Throwdown and while visiting Eduardos was that I had suffered a broken clavicle back in September or October...I had only begun rolling again about 2 weeks prior to the Throwdown and had maybe 3 sessions under my belt...and I can guarantee you my instructions doesn't meet that of 2 BJJ Blackbelts. Anyways, on with story.
Friday night I ventured over to Eduardo's to meet with Aesopian. Once again I had a fair amount of trepidation going into class...I tend to be one of those people who takes a little while to become comfortable working with others...what can I say...trust issues ;)
Before class I asked some questions of Aesopian regarding what I could expect from the students. Eduardo is very much an instructor of gi based BJJ and Friday night is his one no gi night. Aesopian also answered my questions about leglocks, crossfacing, "dirty" BJJ, etc...Eduardo's BJJ guys play a fairly clean game...no "dirty" tactics (not that I'm opposed to that if everyone is cool with it), nor are they big on attempting neck cranks and leglocks.
Class began with some light (10 minute) cardio and I'd say there were about 12 - 14 students present. Mostly men but a few women. The first part of class involved Eduardo instructing us in a armbar setup where you attack the arm that you really don't want first...it is a bait setup and very useful if someone throws a punch at you from the guard. Along with the main submission at the end of the process, there were at least 2 other points that would allow submission opportunities in between and afterwards.
Next we were partnered up and worked drills. First from the guard, then side control, then the mount. I missed the instructions that we could attempt submissions until we did the mount drills. I thought we were just supposed to pass or replace guard....up until I got armbarred that is ;) The rust on my game or lack thereof was apparent and I was very cautious...not explosive. I believe I was rolling with a blue belt who was probably 60 pounds lighter than me...although I did get an attempt at an Anaconda choke (didn't push his arm back quite far enough to get a good choke) I did manage a mounted triangle. Overall, the only thing that even came close to saving me was my size/strength advantage. In a pure grappling match my partner would tool me easily. A funny note did come out of this as my partner remarked that I had "good wind". Apparently he is training for the Pan-Am games at the moment and is going through some crazy conditioning drills...so he noticed that I didn't pass out from exhaustion or something according to Aesopian. My theory was that I sucked so bad at everything else, he could only find one thing to compliment me on (well besides my good looks).
Regarding Eduardo...when I first walked into his school...Eduardo greeted and treated my great hospitality. A casual observer would have thought I'd been there for at least a year and had paid for my training another year in advance. Even though I have family in Clearwater and could conceivably train there again...Eduardo didn't know this. He did not have to treat me with the kindness that he did and he even took the time out to correct mistakes that I was making. Furthermore, the majority of the class took the time to introduce themselves to me as well.
Aesopian and I rolled a little. He slapped a triangle on me so I picked him up in the air a couple of feet...I'm of the train of thought that you don't destroy friends and training partners unless you have their specific ok in advance. I'd rather tap and admit they caught me and go at it again. So after letting Aesopian know I was quite capable of spiking him through the mats, I gently set him down and let him choke me for a few more seconds before I tapped.
Aesopian is a skinny little bastard with no fat on his body...I question where is energy comes from (crack). Along with being technically sound, I can see where is activity gives people fits...I'd say the vast majority of people I've rolled with (including myself) take a small break here or there...Aesopian does not rest...he keeps going. I consider this a testament to both his mental strength and his instructors.
I would heartily, heartily reccomend any visitors to the area take the time to visit Eduardo and his school. The knowledge and insight that a BJJ blackbelt can give...even over a purple belt is incredible. The students and instruction are first class. As mentioned Eduardo's school is focused more on gi BJJ, than no-gi BJJ for those whom that makes a difference to...it shouldn't however with his experience, reputation, and success.
Once I finish resting up my fingers, it will be my turn to handjob our most excellent host for the Throwdown... Royce Gracie BJJ Black Belt Mr. Rob Kahn. Stay tuned.
MMA Record vs Llamas 0-1-0
(The Llama bit my junk but the ref didn't see it).
Posted On:3/13/2005 11:46pm
Ah....my fingers have recovered and UF just won the SEC Men's basketball tournament for the first time ever. Time to give Rob his props.
Saturday....day of the throwdown...and the prospects were a bit dim. Anthony was out with an injured shoulder...a buddy of mine couldn't make it...Darkson was training with his team for a fight the next weekend. It was rapidly looking like our Throwdown was becoming a mini-throwdown/grapplefest.
Saturday morning started off good for Aesopian at least. He got to explain jujitsu to my sister who is an past 4th place finisher in Miss Florida, an ex-Tampa Bay Bucs Cheerleader, and current TV personality for the Bucs pregame show. How many of you would like to wake up at a house in the morning with a chick like this in her nightgown interested in your martial arts?
Around 11AM Aesopian and I headed towards Tampa...I had lost a contact the previous night while rolling and was suffering from some interesting depth perception issues. Eventually we made it to the end of the rainbow...Rob Kahn's Royce Gracie BJJ School located inside the Calta fitness center.
Once again...for those not in the loop...Rob sports very impressive credentials as one might expect...not only in BJJ. In 1995 Rob was a Golden Gloves winner in New York and last year became one of Royce Gracie's first American black belts (along with 4 others I believe).
Upon arriving, we learned that Rob had suffered a very painful back injury and was quite medicated for pain. As an out of towner, I really appreciate and respect Rob for hosting us for several hours in spite of his injury especially when it became apparent that there wasn't going to be a huge showing. When Aesopian and I walked in, it was us and about 5 of Robs students.
Rob's philosophy on BJJ is more oriented on no-gi BJJ as opposed to gi BJJ. Rob is a firm believer that the first year or two of BJJ should be mostly gi but after that, most of his advanced students drill no-gi at least 4 days a week. Walking onto Robb's floor I experienced a different feeling than at Aesopian's home school. I'm going to try and word this as best as I can so there are no misunderstandings...I don't want to appear to favor one school over another or say that one is better...mainly because I don't have enough experience to judge that and secondly how can you go wrong with two great BJJ blackbelts?
The feeling I got from walking into Rob's door however was that I was around fighters...the same feeling that I had walking into Darkson's gym in Jax and much the same way I felt the few times I've been to other schools that produce fighters. Despite a different atmosphere if you will...I want everyone to be clear that Robs students were JUST AS FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL as those I experienced at Aesopians school. If anyone doesn't understand the difference I'm pointing out between the two and is offended, I apologize as I'm not insulting anyone.
Anyways, with fewer people to roll, this gave me time to ask questions and receive great instruction from Rob. Time and time again during breaks Rob would ask, "Is there ANY questions that you guys have?". Robs students...especially the Asian Cowboy (I'm fairly certain that isn't what his mother named him) and Ferret took the time to work slowly with me on some techniques that would tighten my pathetic game up and helped me unload a few that weren't effective. I cannot begin to tell you the strides I feel I made in 3 short hours listening to Rob and working with his students and I cannot be effusive enough in my praise or thanks.
Rob had some great stories about some various people in the MA community and also was able to relate personal experiences about some of the big names in the BJJ and submission world. Despite his injury, Rob hit the mat a few times to demonstrate moves we just weren't "getting"...his obvious pain made me cringe just watching...but the way Rob speaks about BJJ and his willingness to teach...he is truly passionate about the art...and realistic as well. Once again I'll make the statement that a BJJ Blackbelt observing your game for a short time can help you make such a huge leap in understanding and execution, that it is ridiculous.
I ended up rolling with one of Rob's blue belts about the same size as the one I had rolled with at Aesopian's school. The results were pretty much the same...I got caught in an armbar...and another time in a choke that took a decent amount of time to get adjusted before it finally really got me. My size and strength were all that kept me from being tooled more than that. I will say this Rob's guys appear to be very aggressive...I know the blue I rolled with crossfaced me some and tried some neck cranks which didn't bother or offend me.
I know some people may point out that they haven't "heard" about any of Rob's guys. To which I'd respond that Rob spent many years in NY and I believe Cali so doesn't have his local team quite built up yet...although at the Coral Springs NAGA in Florida several of his guys had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placed finishes...and rumor has it that he has a couple of absolute animals on their way up.
Despite the lack of turnout...I know Rob has kindly agreed to host another Throwdown in May I believe or later this summer. With gym to work from...I don't doubt that the Tampa Throwdowns are going to become common AND popular and will grow rapidly. Rob is an excellent person who in a few short hours I developed a great amount of respect for and the time both he and his students helped working with me has increased my own game and knowledge ten-fold.
Once again, if you are in the Tampa area, I heartily, heartily reccomend that you take the time to join a class or open mat at Robs school. His website is www.gracietampa.com I believe. Please thank your guys once again for me and I hope your back gets better soon.
You are in a lot of trouble.
Posted On:3/14/2005 11:27am
Style: Twirling Foot Kung Fu
Originally Posted by Xango
Who sparred? What came of it? Any NHB? BNH didn't show, did he?
saturday i was helping folks from my school run a tournament... a point-sparring tournament.
sigh. i'm not even making that up.
Originally Posted by Hedgehogey
FORM AN ACROBATIC BRIDGE ACROSS OMEGA'S GOOCH
Originally Posted by Kidspatula
Bleep bleep blip bloop
Posted On:3/14/2005 11:29am
Style: Shi Ja Quan
Originally Posted by Gringo Grande
Aesopian is a skinny little bastard with no fat on his body...I question where is energy comes from (crack).
Well, you have made my week already !!
Posted On:3/14/2005 11:43am
Style: Royce Gracie Black Belt
Thaks for the kind words Gringo. You guys were a pleasure to work with and both you and aesopian have a lot of talent for this art. I look forward to us getting together again.
Posted On:3/14/2005 11:49am
Well...at least he's telling the truth about Aeso! Rob I'll be in touch regarding some of the other things we discussed.
PS: BNH...you used to be the epitome of cool...my have the mighty fallen *shakes head*
Posted On:3/14/2005 11:52am
Style: Muay Thai & BJJ
So sodomybyfist turned out to be a coward. Who would have guessed it. Sounds like everything went well. Did you guys do any striking?
"The next one I will take will pay for my loss. Someone has to pay!" ~ The Axe Murderer
Posted On:3/14/2005 3:35pm
Negative...and without you we didn't have a "token" Darkson. ;)
PS: You need to keep me up to date when and where you are fighting so I can come watch and cheer. When's the title shot?
Posted On:3/14/2005 4:30pm
Hopefully this year. The promoters want me to win some more fights first. At least one more anyways. You up for a drive to Atl.?
Posted On:3/14/2005 4:38pm
Yea man...one of my best friends lives up there...I'd like to hit up the next ATL Throwdown as well.
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