Posted On:3/08/2009 9:50pm
Style: Itinerant Wanderer
I figured YMAS was a good catch-all forum, and so I'm putting this little bit about my experiences at the New York Jiu Jitsu dojo here. I haven't had a lot of experience with them, nor will I, and so I don't feel I could do a dojo review justice.
As previously mentioned in my Tiger Schulman thread necro, I got a chance while here on Long Island to visit Jiu Jitsu NY to do a danzan ryu class this past Saturday. The instructor for the class is Sensei Robert "Rob" Korody. He was nice enough to answer my phone call inquiring about class scheduling and location. He seemed happy to have a visitor come train with the class for a couple Saturdays. I was happy to get to go somewhere to train a bit. Sitting in a classroom all week for administrative training purposes sucks.
I arrived at the school a little before our 1230 start time, thanks to Rob's astute subway instruction. The receptionist was very nice, and made sure I had a waiver filled, and was introduced downstairs. The equipment manager guy, Vince, was also very nice, and showed me where the locker and shower room was, and where I could stretch. When other students showed up, he made sure to introduce me. We started with 5 in the class, including the instructor. All adults, all guys.
The school is big (and very well apportioned), with three mats for training, a Brazilian jiu jitsu class was going on when we started warming up, and a pekiti tirsia kali class was ending when we ended. The instructor was running late because of work, but when he showed up, we got to business quickly. We did a few stretches, rolls, and breakfalls to get warmed up, as most of us had plenty of stretch time. The hard part for me was the one hand on the ground, one elbow on the ground handstand to a forward roll. That one was new to me, and difficult to get my balance up there and hold it. I will need to work on that one.
We did a line of everyone throwing everyone 3 times each, with any nage art. Easily the biggest guy in the class, I intimidated the students. Rob said that they didn't get too many chances to throw big guys, and it was obvious. They kept loading up as if in fear I'd crush them. I'm 6'1" and 250-ish. Not a monster. But, with some encouragement, they managed to toss me around just fine. I did, however, cause a bit of a stir with my uke-ing style. When preparing to get thrown, I relax. It's and old habit, drilled into me from getting hurt when I tensed up. Problem is, when I relax, my weight drops slightly. Rob asked me to quit relaxing and to stand up straighter to make it easier for the students to throw me. Repeatedly. I had a hard time not dropping my weight; Rob said he could see the judo in my technique. I don't disagree. I just don't really think throwing a relaxing uke is so difficult. But, since that's the way I have trained, my point of reference could very well be skewed.
Then we worked on stuff from the oku no kata list. We started with easy stuff- the hayanadas. That's a throw straight into an armbar, with feet either near you, across the uke, or split. I asked for help with katate tomoe- a one-armed circle throw. This danzan ryu group is under the AJJF, and the school I am from is under the AJI. Not a huge difference, other than administrative, but some of the moves have different flavors. I've been having trouble getting katate tomoe to work, and Rob couldn't figure out how it was supposed to work using my version's set-up, from a low grab. His version goes straight from a standard judo grip. Much easier, to be sure. After 15 minutes of abusing some very patient ukes, we switched to more productive endeavors. Again, you could see subtle differences in his method and mine, and I tried to incorporate what he directed me to do. Empty the cup, and all.
The last portion of class saw one of the students have to leave, and another show up. More advanced than they, he was there to work on some daito ryu akijujitsu. We spent the last hour of the three hour session doing various daito ryu and more danzan ryu-style escapes. Rob was very forward with the fact he doesn't teach daito ryu, as he's still learning it. So it was more of an all-hands learning, rather than a top-down instruction. It was fun, but most of the daito ryu stuff was hard for me to employ properly. The idea was for an uke to grab you with strength, and by your actions, you could force compliance by disallowing him to release you. I found it difficult not to let go when the techniques got painful. In jujitsu, we let go when stuff hurts, and that's the idea. Rob and I discussed the fact that we all needed more practice in getting the techniques to the point that it secured the grip. I think I managed to secure a hold a few times. The other more danzan related stuff was far easier for me, and I transitioned much smoother. It all hurt enough that I'm still sore from the forearms down. Matter of fact, after the 3 hour marathon training session straight off a week of limited gym time, I'm sore all over.
Obviously, the patient ones who've read this far are asking, "What? No randori? No ne waza?" with rolled eyes. That's next week. This week, the students asked to be able to go over their lists with a big guy, to help them solidify technique. Rob would like us to work on some randori and ne waza next Saturday, again to give the class a feel for doing it with a bigger uke. So I'll update this again then.
So, $20 in mat fee got me a nice tatami with plenty of room, willing ukes and instruction, the nicest locker room I've ever seen in a dojo, and a lot of fun. Rob asked that his instructor fee be paid in beer at a nearby pub. Ever the accommodating one, I spent a night out in Manhattan with a bunch of people from the school's various programs. I look forward to next Saturday.
Posted On:3/08/2009 10:29pm
Style: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, MT
good for you. kind of a boring read though.
Posted On:3/09/2009 2:25pm
Heh, yeah. Straight up visits are often boring to read, fun to do. If I had added more fun things about the drinking and pub-crawling afterwards, perhaps it would have livened up the post. Hopefully this Saturday will provide more gripping narrative with more of a sparring focus.
Pub crawl narratives will depend on my lack of memory of said events, your honor.
Posted On:3/09/2009 2:30pm
Style: BJJ blue, judo ikkyu
A non-seminar class without sparring (at least some position-based stuff) gives me blue balls. I used to run all-technique classes, then I realized they were awful.
Posted On:3/15/2009 8:05pm
So, this week I got to go train at the Jiu Jitsu NY school again. Of note, the judo guys at the NY Athletic Club didn't return my call, so I didn't get to go there.
So, this week saw an marked increase in the number of people at the school. There was a Brazilian jiu jitsu class, an American jujitsu class, our danzan ryu jujitsu class, and a women's rape prevention class all going on at the same time. A couple hours later, the American jujitsu guys had a big seminar with the Osensei of their group. So we piled onto the spare mat with the kali guys. Why is any of this relevant? It affected how much we could do in the limited space alloted.
Once again, we had 5 people in the class, one of the lower-ranked students was replaced by another, even lower-ranking student. So, we started with nage no kata to get into the swing of things. Again, I had to keep myself from squatting, but this time Rob and myself made sure to work on the students' kazushi, to ensure I stayed up. We focused on some throws that are not in Danzan ryu, like osoto gari (similar to danzan ryu's yama arashi, but different enough to note the change). We also focused on slight differences between uchi momo harai and uchi mata.
Next, we got into setting up for ne waza. We didn't get into a full-resistance mode, because these guys are pretty much learning at this point. We did, however, work on moves to counter resistance to things like tenada jime (juji gatamae). In so doing, the ukes had to provide resistance to the application of the technique. I felt they got a lot out of the work.
Finally, when we moved to the other room, we donned foot and hand pads (not gloves) for some sparring. Rules were pretty simple- keep it light to the head, and if you could throw the opponent to affect a technique, do so. There was no score, then reset. But, if Rob felt the match had degenerated to a stalemate, he'd stand the two up, and restart things. I enjoyed that a lot. I got to work with everyone but the brand new guy. Not surprisingly, most everyone was relatively inexperienced at striking, though the basics were solid enough. No newbie flailing. The newest individual had some boxing experience, and was just getting the feel for using things besides his hands. Mostly, they needed to work on things like keeping their hips centered, and keeping their hands up when doing other techniques. Rob, being vastly more experienced than the rest, was a challenge. He's got a nasty low-high fake kick he got me with at least three times :). He was very comfortable striking, and not prone to fall for fakes. Dang. I love catching new guys with the fakes.
Overall, I feel this is a good danzan ryu jujitsu group. I haven't walked out of there without breaking a sweat, though I will say the Saturday class is quite a bit longer than the weeknight classes from my understanding. And, of course, me breaking a sweat is nothing to get excited about. I never once heard anything about randori being prohibited, and it's obvious they had sparred some kumite before. I doubt they ever try for knock-out power in those sessions, but choking someone out (well, to the point they tapped) wasn't seen as over the top at all. I feel there's enough aliveness here to keep it fun for all; it most certainly was for me. If you're ever in Manhattan, give them a call.
I feel like you eyeballin' me, dawg!
Posted On:3/18/2009 9:30am
Style: Judo, BJJ
Where in LI were/are you?
I feel like you eye-bawlin' me, dawg!
Posted On:3/18/2009 7:46pm
I'm at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point. I'll be here till the 28th.
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