I went into the 11:00 am class at Phuket Top Team for my last class before moving on to the next YoloBJJ adventure destination. It was a gi class headed by Professor Abreu (he heads up all the gi classes). I had no idea that it was going to be one of the most fun classes of my ten days training here.
We started off with you usual warm-ups and moved into working some half-guard passes that we had started the day before. On a side note, I have been wandering somewhat lost with my Jiu-Jitsu lately with no real idea of what I was working on…just kind of working on everything, but then nothing really specifically. I the last week Professor Abreu has been working some very nice details on the pass of half-guard and maybe it has encouraged me to work some more on those tiny details. I find that ANY focus for your Jiu-Jitsu is good, even when it is just on some little things.
One thing about Professor Abreu…I really believe that he cares about each and every person on the mat. As we are drilling the pass sequence with our partners a lot of time passed and no word from Professor Abreu…just drilling, drilling, drilling. My partner goes to get a drink and when I sit up I see that all along Professor Abreu has been on his back with a pair of white belts going over the same details, over and over. Then, as my partner returns Professor gets up and says..”Guys,I’m sorry for the time, but I gotta help the white belts today!” So, not only is he dedicating specific attention to the newer students in the class, but then he is apologizing to the upper belts for taking time away from them. A class act!
Not that I didn’t get TONS of specialized instruction too!
So what made today so fun? Well, Professor was just in a really good mood, he was all over the mat having a good time and even getting some training in with the black belts (there were two others in the room as well). Also, I probably had some of the toughest rolls of my stay! I rolled with my partner Stephan (Blue Belt from Germany) who has ridiculously long and flexible legs. He is a serious challenge! Then I got to roll with Professor Joao Paulo (from no-gi class). Talk about a humbling experience! He reminded me a lot of rolling with some of the black belts at De La Riva in that he loves to cross your far side arm over the chest when taking side-control (something they did a lot there as well). I am definitely going to integrate that into my game over this next year.
I rolled with a white belt named John (Nicknamed “KF” for the gi he wears) and we had a tough roll as well. then I rolled with Jerrod from the UK. A purple belt like myself. We had a pretty competitive roll and at one point I thought my DLR was going to work on him…it was close to a back take at one point but…then he managed the pass and his top pressure was heavy and tight!
Definitely a strong point in his game. I managed to swing my foot around in front a few times but he wasn’t having it and the space would disappear. I think, in the end, he finished me with an armlock….It’s hard to remember for sure, but I know he got the best of me in the end. Weird note: As we were rolling, my lone stripe finally fell off of my belt 😦
Today I am headed out to Khao Lak, a small beach town north of Phuket. The plan was to get in some world-class SCUBA diving on a live-aboard in the Similan islands, but since I found some BJJ there in town as well, I will get to scuba dive AND train Jiu-Jitsu! so, next stop: Combat 360, Khao Lak, Thailand!
Until then, Oss and good training!