I was SUPER impressed with the fights on the latest UFC on FOX 22 card this past weekend.
In the prelims, the Scottish beast that is Paul Craig, making his UFC debut against an undefeated Brazilian, Luis Henrique da Silva in their light heavyweight clash. Craig is a tank of human and tapped out Silva with a mint armbar that had me shouting at my screen all things No Gi!
I fucking love Eddie Cummings. Not only does he look like a serial killer but he has the work ethic of one, too. In the few interviews I have seen with him, he comes across as a gentle yet supremely intelligent sapien. As far as I know, his background is in the science world. He mentioned that he used to travel hours to training after working full days as a lab technician so he could pay his bills. These were the days before he turned pro.
It’s fantastic to see that his work ethic has not left him since crossing the threshold from hobbyist machine to full-blown limb reaper. Check out the image above. Sat on his hotel room balcony, no doubt with his mini-grill that he would have packed or picked up locally, cutting weight on a diet of lean meat. Not quite a private chef cooking up your macros in your marble and gold kitchen, is it? Eddie understands probably better than most the importance of, and appropriate way to approach sacrifice.
In the quest to improve my own No Gi game by breaking through a recent stagnancy phase I have been experiencing, I took to our friend, the search engine to see what classes were available to me within as smaller radius as possible.
The result? Not many! Though there are a few clubs in the Surrey county area, all of them offer only one No Gi class per week. One! I would have thought the recent boom of Mixed Martial Arts’ popularity over the last decade would have spawned more interest from the community, creating such a demand for No Gi classes that clubs would have to lay them on more frequently. Not the case.
Rickson Gracie, arguably one of the best jiu jitsu players to walk this earth, has a concept known as Invisible Jiu Jitsu.
Rather than me try to laboriously explain it, the video below does a good job. Two things to bear in mind, however.
1) From my Wing Chun background, I found it far more comprehensive to think of this invisibility in terms of the ‘Stick’ that is spoken about within drills like Chi Sao, or Sticking Hands.
2) If the above makes no sense to you at all but you’re familiar with Weightlifting or Powerlifting terminology, think of the invisibility factor as the equivalent of taking the slack out of the bar. Except it’s more like taking the slack out of the contact with your opponent.
Now comes the interesting and lengthy process of applying this concept to the mat. Sensitivity takes a long time to develop and with such a fast pace in the No Gi world, it makes for an extra challenge!
No Gi Reflections is my blogging series that reveals insights from my own journey with No Gi training and practice, as well as revelations and lessons from training others.
For the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of training stuntman Doug Robson of Kaskadare stunts in the basic applications of grappling; mainly No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling, down at the ever-impressive Locker 27. His background is varied, predominantly based in Muay Thai from what he’s explained to me.
What I’ve found interesting since teaching Doug is how fast he has adapted to moving on the floor once he understood the various principles of weight displacement, how to move and scoot the hips, and most notably, engaging the legs. I’ve boiled this down to Muay Thai. Why? Because I’ve recently started teaching world, european and british Muay Thai champion, Sheree Halliday, in the same fashion, and her adaptation has been very similar.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training continues through this week, remaining as my cardio method of choice. This morning we trained the first technique from this video, first in a drill scenario, then during ‘live’ conditions, where I tried it and it really worked!
It’s important to isolate a skill from its context when you are trying to learn it thoroughly.
“A drill, we agreed, is practicing a skill you’ve learned in a setting that replicates a particular section of the game.”
This quote comes from an interesting article I read this week entitled ‘How We Build Drills‘ taken from Daniel Coyle’s (Author of The Talent Code) twitter feed.
My training continues over at Locker 27.
Recently, as part of my finishers, (conditioning exercises used after a strength workout) I have been including some Grappling into the mix. You may not know that I used to train in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a while back, for about 3 years.
The video below shows clips from 1 x 10 minute round, working a mixture of positions, transitions and submissions. If you’re new to it, start with 1 x 5 min round.
Cardio, in the regular sense of the word, bores the hell out of me. This, however, is not only exciting, but will get your lungs working for every last piece of oxygen.