A Session at the Gracie Academy and The End of Hell Week
Right now Iím pretty groggy and a little beat. But Iím feeling pretty damn proud of myself at the same time.
Wednesday, my practice partner and I went shopping around to different martial art schools. The first one was a good kickboxing gym that also taught jujitsu on the side. But the head instructor himself seemed to be a 2 time champion, so it was reputable to say the least. The facility was small, had a few students and a ring near the windows. When we left, it had out interest.
The second place we visited was Renzo Gracieís Jujitsu Academy over on 30th st. Personally, I didnít believe Renzo would be there (though I drooled at the thought of Kyra teaching on that day). Low and behold as soon as we entered the basement, there he was, Renzo Gracie shaking hands and greeting people at the entrance. I canít front, I was completely marked out, like a fan in the dressing room with this huge stupid grin on my face. After all, this guy helped create the sport that Iím so in love with now and Iíve watched so many documentaries and matches of his. So I shook his hand gleefully and kept telling my buddy, ďitís Renzo fuckiní Gracie, dude!!Ē as we made our way into the office.
After we left and my euphoria wore off (after calling one of my buddies and talking about it), we visited one more school, a Muay Thai gym that I kept passing by after work for some time now.
We were sat down and allowed to spectate the current class, so we got to see the basic mitt work and also some Luta Livre work in the ring nearby. Funny enough, a few of the guys kept boasting, ďLuta, not JujitsuĒ every so often. Yeah, I forgot that Luta and Jujitsu has a strong rivalry in Brazil Vale Tudo for years.
Come to find out that the instructor there is a student of Pequeno Nogueira, of Shooto/Heroís fame. Now THAT was a surprise indeed.
The next day, we came in for our introductory class at the Gracie Academy, but Renzo (and no Kyra *sniff*) wasnít there. So we received our giís, suited up in the locker room and began the first class. The beginning started off with Shuai Chiao/Judo throws, so this was home for me. I did have to adjust to the gi though, as Iím more familiar with no-gi training work. Then we began with guard passes, sweeps and some rolling. Considering that I nearly got choked in side control from the gi and had to adjust the grip of it, I did pretty damn well. I recovered during that side mount with hooks around his ankle and head to prevent him from moving and a potential crank. But the damn giís grip was off-putting and I had to get used to it in every sense.
Iíve never enjoyed myself this much in a martial arts class since my original Kung Fu school growing up.
Once we were done, the head instructor complemented us from our experience and then we were told that weíd start in the blue belt program and work our way up. According to him, with our experience, weíd breeze through it; catching on fairly quickly. So obviously Iím highly interested, along with my partner and we even got to meet Jamal Patterson from the Pitbulls in the facility. Well, he more or less walked by, but I recognized him right away.
As much as I love jujitsu, I think Iím going for the Muay Thai/Luta school. It falls right in line with my Sanshou training and where my heart is, honestly. But testing myself to see where my Catch/Jujitsu skill was at this point before Grapplerís Quest was the best thing I ever did.
It was an awesome day and a hellish, but great week overall.
See you guys at the Throwdown on Sunday.
i'll be looking forward to the video of that throwdown,mr. breeze through the blue belt program! ;-)
Yay Muay Thai!!!
*runs around like a screaming idiot*