Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Return to Nova Forca BJJ

I managed to find some time to pay Nova Forca a visit last night for some BJJ training and was accompanied by Oli. I didn’t realise it had actually been two years since I had last trained there and since then the club has had a change of venue to a much better permanent matted room within the Energie Gym located on Epsom High Street. There is a half Octagon in one corner of the room, for their MMA training and a row of Muay Thai kick bags along one side of the room. There was also a large TV with the UFC playing on it for extra motivation.

As per my previous visits here I was made to feel welcome by the head coach Ricardo and all of the guys I spoke and rolled with seemed very friendly. After the warm up, which would be enough of a workout on its own for most people, Ricardo showed us a variation on a guillotine choke. This was done against someone who had shot in for a single leg takedown. With their head under your left armpit you slide you right forearm under their chin and grab your left hand. Your left forearm then presses down on their right shoulder, which keep them from turning out and escaping the guillotine. The choke is then finished by twisting slightly upwards towards your left. When Ricardo showed us this technique he added a roll, which sort of resembled a Sumi-gaeshi, but both Oli and I had trouble with this which must have had something to do with our Judo instinct not to throw whilst a choke is applied.

We drilled this technique for about fifteen minutes before we were told to grab a quick drink as sparring was next. First up for me was a stocky looking white belt that I was able to pull guard and quickly sweep to mount. From here I was trying to get a kata-gatame choke but he realised what I was going for and defended against it, however I saw an arm tried a hiza-gatame but he was able to escape and I ended up on the bottom with him in my guard. I swept him to mount again and this time I managed to choke him with Sode guruma jime

Next up was a stocky blue belt and this roll was more about survival for me as he was able to constantly threaten me with submissions. I think I did pretty well to only get subbed once. One thing I did consciously do was no panic when I was mounted. In Judo this would be Tate-shiho-gatame but in BJJ it’s just a good position in which to attack from. Anyway I kept my arms close in and protected my neck and waited for him to make a move and then tried to explode out and although he was quickly able to get back to this position or side control it at least kept him busy and kept the submissions down to one.

My last roll was with another white belt who was pretty good. He was able to pass my guard pretty easily and attack me from side control. As before, I concentrated on keep my arms close to my body and protecting my neck, hopefully dispelling the myth that Judo guys always give up their back. He did finally mange to submit me with a cross collar choke which was the least he deserved.

We finished with a gentle warm down and stretch and then an obligatory belt whipping was given out to someone for forgetting their belt. Overall a really enjoyable session and hopefully I’ll be back there again before another two years pass.