I felt compelled to write my first post in quite a while as I met up with my old sparring partner Jadon, who was back from Worcester for a few days visiting family and friends. I had intended to take Jadon to Yoshin Ryu on Wednesday night for their newaza class but unfortunately he was only staying for a few days and wouldn’t be able to attend. However he did tell me that he was going to a BJJ club in Woking which is run by an Andy Roberts brown belt, Dan Geoghegan, who Jadon had started training BJJ with many years previously.
We arrived early and were made to feel very welcome by some of the members who were waiting to go in. The club is located in a room in a very large gymnasium in Woking, so not a permanently matted area. However the jigsaw mats were very quick and easy to lay down unlike those heavy large mats most Judo clubs seem to favour.
The warm up was made up of the typical shrimping, breakfalling, commando crawling and sprawling type of exercises that seem to be quite normal at most BJJ clubs. I think this type of warmup was the right amount of balance between a warmup and a light workout that one needs, especially as the class was only one and a half hours long.
Dan showed us first the flower sweep and then a flower sweep set up to triangle. I’ve been having some success recently with the flower sweep at Yoshin Ryu but the version Dan showed me was slightly different but just as efficient. I think we drilled it enough so that I would remember it again in the heat of battle, which is something that BJJ gets right in their teaching. When you drill only 1 or 2 techniques in a class you normally remember them forever. The flower sweep that Ricardo showed me almost 5 years ago at Nova Forca is still something that I use today and a technique I will never forget.
We finished off with about 30 minutes of rolling or sparring and I was lucky in that I got to roll with Dan. He has a very relaxed and calm way about him and most of his transitions and movements were very smooth and deliberate. He didn’t embarrass me, although I’m sure he could have if he wanted to, but he did just enough to make me work hard to survive. He spent a while going for an ude gurami and as he was being nice he allowed me time and space to defend against it several times until eventually he got the tap. It was a nice roll and one that I could definitely learn from given more opportunity. The standard of the students I rolled with was, in my opinion, high. The only gripe I had was that I got arm barred by one of the guys who slapped it on a bit too fast and hard for my liking. So hard in fact that I felt my elbow pop. There was no malice intended though it was just one those things that happens from time to time.
Overall I really enjoyed my time at Maven BJJ and will try and get back there sometime, maybe when Jadon is next in town or when my elbow has healed.