CFS BJJ Team get together at Mill Hill BJJ Nov 2011

The Combined Fighting Systems - BJJ Team, headed by Mr David Onuma had their bi-annual get together this gone Sunday and The Labs BJJ - No Gi - MMA and Fighting Fit Manchester were represented by a barmy army of 9 (Martyn, Anna, Carol, James (who trekked all the way from York!), Damien, Paul, Don, Andy and yours truly). We all travelled down from Manchester to sunny and beautiful (can you tell I love it?) London for the 3 1/2 hr seminar and BJJ grading, kindly hosted at Mill Hill BJJ Club.

A great time was had by all both on the train (who can forget Martyn's imprompto adverts for "Naked" juice or the looks Don's banditos handle-bar moustache got from other passengers) and at the seminar. Hmm, well kinda.

Don't get me wrong, I've never been taught by three championship winning BJJ black belts and one ADCC competitor and BJJ prodigy brown belts before so that was excellent.

The session did, however, start with a crazy ass warm-up by Mr Andy Marshall - chief Strength & Conditioning coach at Mill Hill Jiu Jitsu club - and those who know me know I hate S & C (how's 100 push-ups for you? Let's add to that some squats, sit ups, static back work and a ton of lunges and god-knows-what!). It's Tuesday and I'm still aching so much I can't lift my arms properly! So what did Martyn and I do? We decided to start adding more S&C to the sessions down at the Labs. Share the fun.

After the workout from hell, we jumped into grappling proper. First up was double European BJJ champion and BJJ black belt Mr Keith McKenzie who showed some very detailed work from the deep half guard. Martyn and I were very pleased that Keith spend a lot of time during the drilling section fixing many of our mistakes and adjusting our hand and foot positions to ensure we got the most out of the drills. We look forward to hosting Keith up at the Labs in the near future for a full seminar.

Following up from there was a session with Mill Hill Jiu Jitsu Club head instructor and multiple European BJJ, Copa Do Mundo and Mundial Masters & Seniors medalist Nick "The Sloth" Brooks looking into the finer details of passing the Open Guard. Nick opened by asking all which grips they are struggling with when passing so I jumped with my personal challenge so it kind of became a personal session for me. The devil is in the detail and Nick simply moved my hands by 2-3 inches and changed the way I step but man what a huge impact that had. Many thanks Mr Sloth man.

Finally, we were placed in the (all too capable) hands of BJJ prodigy, ADCC competitor and Roger Gracie brown belt Mr Dan Strauss (check out his interview by Meerkatsu: Part 1 and Part 2) who proceeded to show us the his take on the back position. He started with the what, where and why of the hooks (feet) and then proceeded to look at the grips. What I loved about this was his focus on extreme details of basic fundamental jiu jitsu. In a nutshell, he showed us the back position, the rear naked choke and the armbar from the back but in all fairness, he showed:

1. the best way ever tto control someone from the back position
2. how, when and why your should attack from the back position
3. how to set up your attacks from the back position
4. how to shut down the opponent's defences in the most efficient way
5. how to make the RNC much tighter by moving your hands 1-2 inches
6. how to use your grips and arms to make your armbars from the back practically impossible to stop

and so much more. It was easy to see why he was doing so well on the international BJJ scene. Plenty detail in this devil!

This final instructional session was followed by the CFS BJJ team grading and then a few rounds of rolling. There were so many of us that it would have been dangerous for all to roll at the same time, so David picked out a few people to roll with each other for his observation.

I had an opportunity to meet many characters from within the CFS BJJ team and family such as Mr Gary Baker, Mr Andy Nugent and double European BJJ champion, and super-nice guy, Mr Steve Payne and one thing that strikes as wonderful about the CFS BJJ team is how nice and generous everyone is. Initially I thought it was just David being David (the man always answers the phone and he always has time for my endless chatter!) but it seemed to be an association-wide thing. I suppose like attracts like.

We are having David over at the Labs early February next year and hopefully, just hopefully, my arms and shoulders will be ok by then. Until then, many thanks to all for a great seminar.


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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1 comment:

David Onuma - Combined Fighting Systems said...

Excellent review...a great time had by all!!