Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Specific Training - sharpening the iron!

The last two evening classes at the open mat session out here in Al Ain have been dedicated to specific training, the cornerstone of any serious training regime; in my classes back in the UK, I have seperate technical classes and a sparring/specific class straight after the technical session, giving students time to walk the walk.
With my long lost brother, Rogerio Teixeira, who's helped me no end in every training session
Bearing in mind all classes should be taxing on the body, mind and spirit, yet fun at the same time, specific training can be very hard to get your head around, especially as a beginner; I'd argue the case that specific training gets harder as you progress through the belts and I type this as a man with two night's worth of the hardest specific training I've done in my life.
When doing specific training, your partner is always given a heads up as to what's going to happen during the time limit and so in his head is more than half way prepared for his opponent.  Finishing from the mount and back position, for me, I think are the most hardest positions; hell, in fact they all are, but in my experience I rank these two at equal top spot.
That said, nothing prepared me last night for the specific training; it's one thing rolling with twenty odd black belts every night, but to actually train specifics with these guys, well it's another story all together and I'd happily trade specifics with rolling.  However, if I were to do that, then I'd really be doing myself a disservice, when I have all these highly talented individuals at my disposal to learn and improve from.  It's a learning and improvement curve that is as steep as it's soul destroying, but nothing can get you into better shape and improve your game faster than specifics.
With numbers like this in class, how can you NOT improve?!
Last night covered finishing from the mount position and we lined up in pairs facing each other in a big line along the mats and we had ninety seconds in each position, which would last for fifty minutes after a quick warm up of drills.  Even with all the years training and all the drilling done back in the UK, I was taken apart and submitted time and time again, it was horrible!  All done, mind you, with a smile on their face, which didn't make it any better, it was still horrible, but in jiu jitsu, nothing's ever easy, you just have to dig in and take the shit and keep on keeping on.
When it was my turn, it was no different; my unstoppable mount (he dreams) was broken like an extremely easy to break item and a submission swiftly followed.  This is no fun dear reader, no fun at all.  For me that is, I've had my students all lol'ing online and revelling in my pain and misfortune, but it's all gone in the memory banks for when I return to Blighty.
This evening we warmed up with drills and then went straight into finishing from the back position; words can't really describe the thoughts and feelings that flow through your mind when a gnarly, tough as superheated dried out boots left out in the desert sun, three stripe black belt sits behind you and slaps on the seat belt position.  All you can see are his cauliflower knuckled hands, as he starts to squeeze the Bejeesus out of you and holds you in a vice like grip with his legs and slowly but surely, works his hands into your collar.  From this unenviable position, one hears the squeaking and straining of cotton fibres as they tighten up around your neck and then things start to sound a little dreamlike, your hearing is all blurred as well as your eye sight.  Tap tap tap!!
Six seconds I lasted, a Herculean achievement for me (well that's the way I'm looking at it) and so it continued, one black belt after the other.  Whether it was my turn or theirs, I was duly dispatched in short shrift and all too soon, it was the end of the class.  Thank God!
That said, as much as a battering to the ego, my face and ears as it was, by Christ I've learned more in those two sessions than all the rolling thus far and that's saying something.  At the end of both sessions, all the guys I trained with took me to one side and gave me loads of tips and pointers, so I hope to make use of these in the next class and start to see some improvements in my specific training.
Obrigado to Alexandre 'Baby' Carvalho for putting us through our paces and to my training partners over the last two nights - Rogerio, Polinio, Flavio, Gilberto, Maozinho, Emerson, Jiddu, Zelo, Leonnardo, Pedro, Rafael, Felipe and Higor :)
Iron sharpens iron - Ooooosss!!

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