Sunday, 7 October 2012

Just another Sunday session!

If my first training session wasn't enough to set me into BJJ overdrive, then this evening's class blew me away - twenty seven, yes twenty seven black belts on the mats for the Open Mat session!  Everywhere you turned there was a black belt, absolutely crazy and I'm bang in the middle of it all.

Three stripe black belt Flavio Serafin had arrived earlier in the day and after a quick introduction, I was his first guy to roll with at the start of the class, so no pressure Carl :)  Flavio hails from Nova Friburgo, south east Brazil and is a well respected MMA fighter and is joined here in Al Ain with a number of guys from the same town.
Post training photo
We shook hands and started to roll and I was on a six minute roller coaster ride; I've never had my guard smashed and destroyed like it and I've rolled with some of the best on the planet.  Flavio moved one way then the next flattening my legs like a windscreen wiper jammed on full power.  We never paused for breath throughout the roll, only stopping when Flavio subbed me, then it was a quick handshake and we went at it again.  A most amazing experience to feel a guy crush you so easily and the guard passing from Flavio was something to behold and experience at first hand.

Second roll was with my twin brother Rogerio Teixeira; those of you following the action on Facebook can see a photo of the two of us and all the Brazilians said we look like brothers, so it's kind of stuck at the gym.  Rogerio was more playful and encouraged me to attack, which I did to the best of my abilities, only to find myself at the receiving end of a submission, all with a smile on his face, as most Brazilians are wont to do.

Higor Polonio was next on the cards, a light weight black belt with an athletic counter game, as soon as I started a sweep or reversal, he'd flip his legs in the air and land on the opposite side from me, pinning my legs and hips to the floor, before passing my guard and basically giving me problems from every angles.
With my neighbour, Marcio Eduardo Silva
Another newcomer was my fourth roll, a beast of a guy called Alexandre Carvalho, aka 'Baby' and let me tell you there's nothing baby like about him; two gnarled cauliflower ears and a rippling physique was staring across at me as we shook hands and I thought RIP to myself, I'm a goner.  Not so.  We had a right royal tear up, again giving me the chance to open up and experiment and give things a go I'd normally do in class in the UK, but now against seasoned black belts.  It's been a tough six days here in class, but hey, I'm swimming with the sharks and soon enough I'll start growing some sharp teeth of my own.

Last roll came by way of my favourite black belt to roll with, Leandro 'Polinio' Cordeiro; I don't really like to say I have a favourite, as all the guys are awesome in their own right, but every time we roll, I have the most technical rolls with Polinio, he really is a great guy to roll with and before you know it, the open mat's over and it's photo time.

Black belt massif *
x six minute rounds with some of the toughest and sharpest black belts around and I haven't even been here a week!

* photo credit - Leonnardo Cordeiro

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