Finally got everything sorted out schedule-wise and was able to pop into Phuket Top Team for gi class last night. After taking a beating at Arete BJJ Bangkok two nights before I was kind of dreading it because I figured I was still pretty out of shape. I was relieved when Professor Olavo Abreau announced that he was going to slow it down a bit and take it easy today. I should have known it was too good to be true 🙂
The warm ups were pretty standard consisting of normal running, knees up running, feet up running, shuffling, etc… one thing that was different for me was that Professor Abreau threw a homemade “football” (American football) into the group and everybody started passing it around while running around the gym. Apparently, the deal is, if you drop it when it is thrown to you, you must do ten push-ups in the middle of the mats while the game continues. Hmmm…reminds me a little of Arete BJJ! After about ten minutes of this…I went one-of two on catches BTW… we paired up and started with a flow exercise.
I paired off with a Russian guy who told me his name twice (I still can’t pronounce it) who I will call Kirk (Closest I can get). We started with my closed guard and I would just flow, with zero resistance, from one submission to another or from one sweep to a submission to another submission until I ran out of ideas. After about two minutes each we switched to situational training where we would start from guard and go all out for two minutes.If the guard player passed, swept or submitted we would start over. If the guard passer passed, we would start over. Kirk was REALLY hard to sweep. I consider sweeps a stronger point in my game and I think I only swept him once the whole time.
Next up was the same situation drilling but from side-control. This went on for another two-minutes each, then we did it again but from mount.After two minutes each of that we did it again except from back-mount.
Let me just tell ya, what Professor Abreau let us skip on the warm-up, he was making up for now. We were essentially doing HIIT drills from increasingly worse positions for about 20 minutes. I was huffing and puffing pretty hard. At least the A/C was set at 82 🙂
After we had both drilled from all the positions Professor had us switch partners and do it ALL again! I was really getting drained! It was probably 90f with 90% humidity and I was struggling to breath.
Finally, after what seemed like an hour Professor had us get up and take a water break. Professor Abreau is clearly the Brazilian Old School type (Type B). A “water break” meant thirty seconds to get a sip of water and get back on the mat! which is cool by me, since I am pretty used to that with Professor Gurgel.
Once we gathered back up it was time for takedowns. We used the same flow mentality as the first drills of the day: one person would simply perform a takedown (of their choosing) with no resistance. For two minutes we would do takedowns and then we would switch. As soon as Kirk started throwing me I knew why I had such a hard time sweeping him. “Do you train Judo”? I asked.
He nodded, smiled and said, “Da! Black Belt”.
I had to laugh! The next two minutes were a lot of fun for me 🙂 Kirk was flipping and throwing me all over the mats!
After that, Professor brought in the coach from the wrestling class to go over a basic ankle pick. I’ll admit, wrestling is about my biggest weak-spot so I was screwing up this ankle-pick the whole time. My partner kept trying to correct me but I just never did feel like I was getting it right. We drilled this for about five minutes each and then moved on to a double leg variation which I also screwed up 🙁
On the flip side, I was also somewhat relieved that the pace had slowed down from earlier. I was finally catching my breath. After about twenty minutes total of drilling takedowns it was time to wrap up the class. Professor had us line up and talked to us about getting more training in. He encouraged us to go to the no-gi class the next day and to cross-train with the wrestling class. At PTT they have the “All-inclusive pass” which gives you access to every single class available, which is a LOT (I will do a formal write-up of PTT soon).
While I don’t normally do no-gi I think I will go ahead and jump into tomorrow’s class. I am excited to get my cardio back and still need to shed some of the weight I picked up in Rio de Janeiro and over the holidays with family. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Until then, Oss and good training!