Friday, 16 November 2012

Training pix

 Had a very busy session on Wednesday evening, twenty five black belts on the mats for the Open Mat session, including three stripe black belt Dani Piermatei and blue belt Jude Abadi, who had travelled from Abu Dhabi to join in the fun.
Al Ain BJJ in da house!
The Open Mat sessions get better every week, starting off with one minute rounds of drills, which is a good time for me to look round and see what the black belts are doing with their time.  Pretty much the same as my time, basic arm bar from guard, omoplata and triangle set ups, Andre Galvao transition drills, open guard drills and lots more.

After ten minutes warming up, it's straight into specific training; guard passing, first to score scenarios, finishing from mount, finishing from back position and then a few rounds of rolling to really finish us all off.
MMA room with Dani (back left) and Jude and with Polonio and Marcio
After the Open Mat, the regular session starts and you can either join in or go in to the MMA room and carry on rolling; I went into the MMA room with Polonio, Eduardo, Jude and Danni and had an extra thirty minutes rolling and got some more great tips from Polonio, the guy is a mine of information, with a great sense of humour as well.
Mr Smooth :)
Interviews are in process, I aim to get all the black belts interviewed over the coming months; I have a number of questions I ask each individual, I like to hear their views on  a number of issues that are relevant to all belt colours, so keep on reading the Blog :)
Clowning around :)
Once again, another awesome session, enjoying the cooler nights, but still losing half my bodyweight in sweat and tears; really excited about the interviews, it will be a great insight into the mind of a black belt from so many different academies, be nice to see differences and similarities in their approaches to training and competition and lots more, so stay tuned!


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Rodolfo Vieira - HL Reel

I love HL reels, I think they are a great tool for raising your motivation and stirring your soul; watch these and I'm itching to throw my gi on and hit the mats!

Enjoy :)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

No Gi Open Mat

What better way to round the week off, than with an Open Mat session with the guys :)  The working week out here runs from Sunday to Thursday and the last training session of the week is sans gi.  There is usually a coach taking the class, but tonight it was to be an Open Mat session and after a quick warm up, the rolling began.
Each roll was six minutes and my first roll was with a newbie, a local kid who's been training for two weeks, so we played some guard passing and I gave him a few tips on passing guard; second roll was with Higor Polonio, a black belt since the age of twenty two and is now twenty three.  Twenty three and a black belt.  His whole life ahead of him and a bad ass at such a young age, awesome!
Brand Tatami in the house!
We always have a good roll together and tonight was no exception; we traded positions and I almost caught him with a kimura, but he wriggled out like a slippery politician whose been accused of fiddling his expenses.  Very slippery indeed :)
Jiddu Bastos was up next, a great bear of a guy, who is very lithe and quick off the mark for such a big guy; we had a real war, slipping and sliding all over the mats together.  I've been working with Jiddu at the schools and he's a real character, loud and funny and always with a smile on his face.  Great guy.
Tiago Bravo was my next partner and a real bad ass; he won triple gold at the Asian Open the other week, in gi and no gi and an interview of Tiago is in the process.  He's one of the most technical fighters I've rolled with out here, he really pushes you and lets you try a few moves out, before switching on and stepping up about eight gears and wipes me out double quick time.
MMA champion Flavio Serafin followed Tiago and out of the frying pan and into an industrial size furnace springs to mind to describe rolling with Serafin; a three stripe black belt and a fearsome MMA fighter and you've got the whole package and we had an enjoyable roll, well enjoyable for Flavio as he twisted me up this way and that and showed me a wicked submission from standing - can't wait to try that one out!
The session ended with a roll with Eduardo Belluomini, a Brazilian carved from granite, with huge arms and the strongest grip known to mankind; soon as he locked guard I was in deep trouble.  He grabbed my wrist and I thought 'Oh dear' to myself and I was triangled in a nano second.  This was going to be a long six minutes.  In fact, it was a lot of fun, even though I got crushed like an over ripe tomato.
Another session ended.  Rash guard soaking wet.  Knee pads wringed out matside.  Shorts steaming.
You know the kind of session - the best session!!
No Gi Open Mat - Al Ain Style
An interesting footnot to this post - I was going home with two stripe black belt Bruno Fornari and we got talking about training.  I will be interviewing Bruno real soon as he has some great tales to tell and he has been training since he was three years old and has thirty odd years in BJJ.  His father is seventy nine years young and a black belt, his brother is a brown belt and Bruno commented on how he loves to train as he feels he is always learning something.
Always learning.
Listening to seasoned black belts talk like that just shows you how vast the scope is in learning jiu jitsu and listening to Bruno has made me want to get back on the mats ASAP.
So when you're in a rut, feeling like your motivation has gone for a Burton, think about how much you have left to learn.  Then go and get your kimono and hit the mats.
Drill to win!!!!!!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Training photos!

From the lens of Leonnardo Cordeiro Medeiros, a few photos from gi training this evening; had great fun drilling techniques as a warm up, before rolling with different partners.  First round was ten minutes, then the next was eight minutes and two six minute rounds ended the class - thanks to Raphael Medeiros, Leandro Cordeiro, Jose Lopes for the rolls :)

With Raphael Medeiros
With Polonio
Jiddu Bastos sets up the arm bar
Sitting out one of the rounds, due to odd numbers - honest!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Abu Dhabi Warriors 1!

Huge congrats to Flavio Serafin, who stepped in with one day's notice and fought on the opening bout at the ADNEC Exhibition Centre on 2nd November; facing the tough US fighter Andrew Nicola, Serafin won the fight via arm bar.  For Nilson Pokemom Lopes, things didn't go his way in his fight and Nilson succumbed to a third round TKO against Moldovian fighter Mihail Cazacu.

Photos taken from

Full fight report and results -

Pokemom in action
Flavio sets up the arm bar

Friday, 2 November 2012

Shedding the gi!!

Thursday night is no gi night down at Al Ain FC, which has been put on the back burner the last two weeks, as last week was Eid celebrations and the week before was the Asian Cup in Abu Dhabi. 
The session was taken by Leopoldo Pires and after a quick warm up and stretch, Leopoldo showed a very sneaky way of getting to a high percentage guard pass, specifically for no gi and I have to say it has a PhD in sneakiness.  This was drilled for quite some time as numbers were low, which suited me down to the ground; I was partnered with black belt Higor Polinio and Higor's been out of the loop for no gi for a good few months, so were both happy  to drill both sides and really get to grips on the guard pass.
With fellow sponsored athlete, Leo Pires
After the drilling, it was time for rolling and I rolled with a couple of very technical and game blue belts, then had a very technical roll with Leandro Polonio (I always do with this guy) and he showed me the sneakiest set up for a wrist lock I've ever seen.  I'm afraid I'm not at liberty to tell you from what position this little gem comes from, suffice to say it can come on from many positions, but I'll be more than happy to show you all when I return ;)
Next roll was with two stripe black belt Bruno Fornari and this guy is tough.  Looks tough.  Proper cauliflower ears, calcified bones on his head, gnarled hands, hardcore scars on his feet and shins from mat burns and burying knees into heads.  That kind of tough.
Bruno Fornari
He rolls hard and fast, but at the same time, coaches you on when stuck in a position , which happens to me a lot; I get to a position and pause, knowing one wrong move and I'm toast.  Bruno tells me to move and complete the move instead of waiting, as this just gives my opponent time to react, so I just go for it and some times I'm caught and sometimes I'm not.  Great stuff and always a handshake and a smile at the end of rolling with Bruno.
By now class was almost over and after Polonio showed me the nifty wrist lock, I had a quick three minute roll with Emirati local Ahmid, a brown belt himself and that took us to the end of the class.  Ahmid is a big bear of a guy and moves surprisingly fast and we've always had a good technical roll with each other and as the timer timed out, the class was at an end.
With Ahmid - either I've shrunk since I got here or he's HUGE :)
Huge thanks to Leo for taking class and to all the guys for the rolls and to Polinio and Bruno for the tips and new moves; I really enjoyed the no gi class, felt my rolling was a lot slicker out of the gi, which I suppose it would be without the gi to slow you down and it was nice not to have my metacarpals seperated from one another, every time the black belts stripped my grips off their jackets :)
Tatami trio - Tiago Bravo (middle) and Leo Pires
Obrigado and Ooooossssssssssss!!