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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Malta
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    MMA, BJJ
    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    My first post (ex-Buj, now attending MMA/BJJ)

    Hello, I've been a 'lurker' on this forum for some months now and thought it was time I made my introduction. I'm not sure if all the stuff I'm going to type in here is relevant to an introduction, so apologies in advance (and yes, this will be a rather long read if you want to stick with it).

    A bit about me, I'm 34 years old, and while I've always been into sports, I guess I've had a very roundabout introduction to martial arts compared to most of the people here.

    Back in my late teens/early 20's I was very much into sports fencing which was my first introduction to a 'martial' sport. I was very much into it, and even represented my country (Malta) in regional competitions abroad (mainly in Sicily). Ok, we Maltese never won any medals abroad during that period, but fencing was still a nascent sport on our island at the time, and the idea was to gain experience by competing against far more experienced opposition. At a local level I did quite well, winning a couple of epee competitions, and usually gaining a podium placing in most of the other ones.

    An injury to the knee caused by the repetitive lunging required in fencing caused me to forfeit that when I was 25, and I spent the next couple of years just being a couch potato and gaining weight.

    Then when I was 27 I decided I needed to get back in shape and started working out at the gym, with the idea of losing weight foremost in mind as I was 30kgs overweight at that point. The training bug took root in me again and I've kept my gym routine training 5 times a week there for the past 7 years.

    When I was 29 I learnt about a dojo that was giving classes in Kukushinden Ryu Kenjutsu, and since my interest in swords had never really abated (apart from sports I'm a military history enthusiast), I decided to attend some classes, since I assumed that techniques involving a katana would not require constant lunges and thus bring up my old knee injury.

    The dojo I started attending was a Bujinkan dojo (yes I know the rep these guys have in this forum!). I must say I enjoyed these kenjutsu classes, and while I was surprised at the lack of sparring in them, I assumed it was because the other students, like myself were still newbies and we'd get to do sparring as we progressed along. Meanwhile, I had to master the difficult (for a leftie like me) task of learning how to wield a sword in my right hand, something that took a lot of time but with my hard headedness I managed to learn.

    I have to say at this point that I do not consider myself to be a 'natural' whenever I take up a new sport, but I am willing to put the training hours in it and keep practicing till my level becomes if not good, at least decent.

    At this particular Bujinkan dojo where I used to attend, apart from the Ninjitsu classes, there were also traditional Ju-Jitsu (Taka Gyoshin Ryu), Kyudo (these two by the same Bujinkan instructor); and also American Kenpo and Wing Chun classes (these last two taught by different instructors).

    Happening to arrive early for my Kenjutsu classes I was able to see some of these classes at times, and I decided to give some of them a try. About a year ago, apart from my Kenjutsu lessons I started attending the Ju-Jitsu and Kenpo classes as well. My Kenjutsu intstructor had told me I would need to learn some Ju-Jitsu techniques in order to be able to advance further in grades in Kenjutsu; while I had seen the Kenpo classes and really liked what I saw there.

    While I enjoyed all of my classes, there were some problems that had started cropping up. Around last Christmas I learned that Hatsumi had released videos showing 'fake' techniques, and that if one wanted to learn the proper ones, travelling to Japan was the way to do it. I admit this rankled my trust in the system somewhat but I kept on attending classes.

    Early this year a British instructor came here to Malta to give a Bujinkan seminar which I attended, and since we had a Kenjutsu lesson afterwards the students (including myself) asked him for some tips about our techniques etc. To my surprise (and dismay), this guy showed us a set of kamaes which were totally unlike the ones which we'd been practicing for the past 3 years, and which were in the syllabus we were following. This, following the knowledge about the Hatsumi videos made me think that if Hatsumi found no problem in releasing 'fake' videos, what was to stop him from doing the same as regards the syllabi?

    I continued to attend classes but a couple of weeks later (early February) I got a rather nasty injury to my left shoulder which forced me to stay off training for a couple of months. For a guy who'd been used to train at the gym 5 times a week in the morning before work, and then attend a combined 4 martial arts classes a week in the evenings and weekends, you can imagine just how much 'free' time I suddenly had on my hands.

    It was during this time that I found a reference to these forums on MAP, and decided to give it a look. I was particularly interested in seeing what people abroad thought of Bujinkan, as my trust had reached rock bottom at that point. What I read here confirmed my views, and as my injury started to heal and the physio said I could start doing some weight training again, I was looking into the possibility of finding a dojo or gym closer to home where I could try a different art.

    Having watched some MMA fights, I was curious to give that a try and luckily I found just such a gym within walking distance of my home, and they also give Brazilian Ju-Jitsu lessons there.

    I went for my first MMA lesson knowing that cardio wise I had some catching up to do (a lot as it turned out), but confident I had a basis of skills to rely upon. The lesson was an eye opener, especially as regards ground work, and when the week after I attended the BJJ class, it was even more so.

    The fact that the last hour in the BJJ class is devoted to sparring (or rolling as I learnt they refer to it), really puts the techniques we learn in the initial part of the lesson to test, and I've lost count of the times I've had to tap out so far.

    I've attended at my new club for the past month now, physically I feel I am back to my old self (back to lifting my usual weights at the gym, and during MMA/BJJ I don't end up panting after just 20mins!), and I feel I'm really learning some useful stuff.

    Ok, at 34, I realize I'll never be a top UFC fighter or anything like that (my flexibility for one thing sucks compared to most of the other guys in the classes), and I still have to pull off a single submission during rolling (on the other hand, I deem it a success when I can go a 5 minute round without having to tap myself).

    I was impressed at the level of the guys in this new club, and I really would like to say thankyou to the members of this forum who have been posting here for years, as the information I read here swayed my decision to switch to MMA/BJJ after I healed from my recent injury.

  2. #2
    slamdunc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,536
    Style
    TKD, CMA & American Kenpo
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Welcome to Bullshido. If the booj helped get you back into shape, you benefited from it in some way.




    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    You can not intellectualize your way to being a competent fighter.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Malta
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    Style
    MMA, BJJ
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by slamdunc View Post
    Welcome to Bullshido. If the booj helped get you back into shape, you benefited from it in some way.

    Thanks for the welcome. Actually I had been doing weight training for a couple of years before first stepping into the booj dojo, so fitness wise I was already doing ok by that point ;)

  4. #4
    jnp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    8,365
    Style
    BJJ, wrestling
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Welcome to Bullshido.
    Shut the hell up and train.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    11
    Style
    Aikido
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Welcome to bullshido. relative noob here myself. Look forward to hearing more from you.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Malta
    Posts
    64
    Style
    MMA, BJJ
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I participated in my first grappling tournament a couple of weeks ago, link to the video to follow soon (though the fight didn't go too well for me)

  7. #7
    slamdunc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Illinois
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarius View Post
    the fight didn't go too well for me
    If there is video, you can learn a great deal from it. Analyze what worked well, then play on it; see which part you sucked at, then improve that aspect. Game film is a valuable tool, besides that when you post it, there will surely be comments.



    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    You can not intellectualize your way to being a competent fighter.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Malta
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by slamdunc View Post
    If there is video, you can learn a great deal from it. Analyze what worked well, then play on it; see which part you sucked at, then improve that aspect. Game film is a valuable tool, besides that when you post it, there will surely be comments.
    I posted the video on another thread in this forum section mate, looking forward to the comments and advice on how to improve :)

  9. #9
    slamdunc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Illinois
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarius View Post
    I posted the video on another thread in this forum section mate, looking forward to the comments and advice on how to improve
    I'm heading to the video now. I'm not qualified to give guidance on grappling techniques, but I'm sure I will enjoy watching it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    You can not intellectualize your way to being a competent fighter.

  10. #10
    hungryjoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    4,409
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    judo hiatus
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Rarius,

    I had the pleasure of spending time on your island nation for business and the opportunity to practice in a jjj dojo while there. Can't remember the name of the dojo but it was ran by two brothers.

    Was there when the Maltese voted to join the EU. Good times and good people.

    Welcome to the site.

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