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!!

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