Monday, November 18, 2013

Update: 11/18

Just a small update on my BJJ activities. I've been out of the gym since early October due to financial hardships. I'm not sure if I'll be back until January. This is my longest hiatus yet and it's the hardest thing I think I've ever done in my life. Here's to hoping things get better.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Jaco Hybrid Training Center: Training with the Blackzilians!

So it turns out that I blatantly missed the obvious choice for MMA training in South Florida: the Jaco Hybrid Training Center. I had originally thought that they only offered full MMA training, but I'm a complete idiot because they offer a nice amount of Gi BJJ classes. So I'm training MWFS for now, and might get into some no-gi at some point, or even the early morning (7am) classes once my job stabilizes. I'd also like to get into some strength and conditioning work on my off-days. I've been so out of shape and it's time to get my ass in gear.

The facility itself is fucking amazing, which should be a given, since they have so many high-level MMA guys there. So far I've met Thiago Silva, Vitor Belfort, and watched Eddie Alvarez and Rashad Evans training. Even got to watch UFC 165 with a bunch of fighters at Hooters. It was really nice being around people that care about the sport as much as me. The conversations were great. The same group of guys are regulars at the gym and they're turning out to be great training partners. Very helpful and friendly. I think I'm going to really like this gym. Plus, the classes are HUGE. Like, over 40 people. Mats are ALWAYS full. It's like being at Alliance. And there are a ton of people my own size, all belt ranks, male and female.

My new coach is Many Soares, and he's a really nice guy, great teacher and definitely going to become a great friend. Oh, and a beast on the ground. Brutally smothering, demoralizing top game....and I'm pretty sure he was only going like 60% with me. I'm going to learn a lot here for sure.

I also really like that people can maintain their team affiliations. We are Jaco Jiu-Jitsu, but there are a number of different teams that come together there: Nova Geracao, ATT, GF Team, and even Alliance. It seems like no one there is about BJJ politics. Just the love of the sport, friendship, and camaraderie. And if that isn't the right gym for you, then you need to rethink your priorities.

Classes are a little under 2 hours and consist of a warm-up, 1 specific technique or technique chain that we drill for a while, and then 3-4 10 minute rounds of rolling. The blue belts I've rolled with are definitely better than me for the most part, but not completely dominating. I've gotten my own offensive techniques in, but I'm plenty challenged.

One of the techniques we've been going over a lot is a berimbolo back take from top half guard. You can hit it when you try to step over to pass and they end up trapping your bottom leg. We've also gone over some sweep/passing sequences off of collar/sleeve control when your opponent tries to pass your closed guard.

I'm really excited about being back in the gym after 2 months off. Unfortunately, I don't believe I'll be able to afford the Miami Open. Between being out of shape and broke it's just not gonna happen. I might try to make it down there for team support if need be. But for now it's just a day at a time.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Overdue Update: Florida!

Well, it's been a long ass time since I last updated, so I thought I should drop an entry so the blog is a little more recent.

Basically, I'm in south Florida now. I'm still moving around, staying at friends' places and generally trying to get settled with a job. Consequently, I haven't been able to train much.

That's not to say I'm completely out of the BJJ loop. I've been checking out gyms and I'm still trying to find one that suits my needs. Mainly, lots of gi training and a large number of people to train with, ala Alliance HQ.

ATT is huge down here and they love MMA and the search is not as easy as I had hoped. Currently I'm thinking of either Liborio's or Popovich's school, both in Coconut Creek. But I need to get some income going first.

I checked out Rafael Rebello's ATT Deerfield Beach locations. Watched the first time and trained a couple days later. I was thinking at first that there wasn't a huge number of higher ranked people to train with, but when I actually rolled the class got much bigger and a bunch of purples and blues showed up. Everyone was SUPER nice, one spent some time training at Hardcore with Brian Bowles, and most knew of the Alliance HQ guys. Rafael was awesome as well. Got crushed but 2 purple belts and had a nice, competitive roll with a bantamweight blue. I might check it out again, but there are tons of other places to see first.

Marcelo Silviera has a school in Boca, as does the Moncaio brothers (black belts under Popovich). As I continue to settle in and get some income I'll check out more schools before signing up. Here's to hoping it's not too long!

Here's to ALSO hoping I can get down to Miami sooner rather than later. BLACKHOUSE!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Looking Ahead: Graduation and Beyond

I've been so busy with the need to work and finish school that my frequency at BJJ has been around 2x per week, both Gi. This doesn't bother me too much since I'm not a huge fan of no-gi, but I'm really looking forward to getting more training in over the next year.

Two weeks ago, I graduated from UGA after four and half crazy years. I have no business left in Athens or really anywhere in Georgia, so in a month or two I'll be relocating down to Florida and taking a year off to prepare for the LSAT. During this time, I'm going to be working full time and training my ass off.

So where do I go from here? I've spent over three years at Megalodon MMA and I'm going to miss it immensely. I learned how to first apply a triangle choke and scissor sweep an opponent there. I wouldn't be the grappler I am today without their help.

I'm part of the greater Alliance family, and I want to keep it that way if possible. So I have some scouting to do once I move. Hopefully I can find an Alliance gym that suits my needs in the scheduling department. I want to be there around 5x per week and compete a bunch before law school takes my time. But "best laid plans", as they say. My injuries are still lingering but not hindering, at the moment.

I've been working more guard passing and general top game and I see improvements even still. My guard retention is better and I'm hitting berimbolos and other DLR sweeps.

Also of note, at the beginning of April I participated in an in-house tournament at my gym and took 3rd. I finished my first match with an armbar, got choked by a massive dude in the second, and took another armbar in the third. I'm not too happy with my performance, but this was the first time I took a medal so I'll cut myself some slack. Really looking forward to demolishing the competition scene in the next year.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Injuries Mark The First Quarter of 2013

I haven't updated this in a while, and that's mainly due to the fact that the year thus far has been nothing but injuries for me. Back around the middle of January I had my toe rolled on at a VERY awkward angle and was limping for several weeks. By far the worst turf toe I've ever had. Usually I just tape it up and continue on, but I thought it might have been broken for a short period of time. Luckily, it's mostly healed, although there is definitely trauma to the area every time I train which aggravates it.

Toward the end of February, I was unfortunate enough to have my left arm hyper-extended by a very douchey training partner. Long story, but needless to say, I won't be rolling with him anymore. My elbow has been sore as hell with limited range of motion. I wore a brace for a bit, but it has been healing nicely and I'm about ready to return to the mats (with the brace!) in the next few days.

It really makes you think how much we take for granted when we train. Injuries can keep us away from the mats for far too long.