With the Chinese New Year putting a damper on training (Everything was closed for about 4 days) I finally got to head over to Monarchy MMA. Monarchy was suggested to me by Professor Olavo Abreu at Phuket Top Team and I was NOT disappointed!
I showed up for the noon class on Thursday and was greeted by a smallish group of very friendly guys and gals. They were about 8 people in the class, not including Professor Bruninho.
We started out with the usual suspects of a warm-up including: running, heels up, shuffle in, shuffle out, then shrimps up the mat, then butt-scoots, etc…Nothing unusual, but with the usual amount of huff and puff and a decent sweat started.
We circled up after about 10 minutes of warm-ups and Professor Bruninho instructed on a nice arm-bar variation from the guard. This is a particularly nice variation that I learned a few years back to counter your opponents attempt to “Stack and Pass” the armbar. I have always called it the “Corkscrew Armbar” because I think my Professor used the term when he was showing it to me.
One of the things that I really liked about Professor Bruninho’s class was the amount of time we spent drilling the technique.
Now that I have been travelling on my second year now, I have realized that one of the big differences between different schools is the amount of time spent drilling versus instructing or rolling.
When I was in Brazil, training at De La Riva’s, we spent maybe, 5 minutes tops, drilling one technique and then it was time to roll. When I was in Nashville, TN training with Professor Samuel Braga and crew we drilled every technique maybe 5-10 minutes each – doing two or three connected techniques. Even at home, at the Ohio Combat Sports Academy, we would drill, usually three-five minutes each of maybe three techniques.
Here at Monarchy, we are drilling 10-15 minutes on one technique. Even though this is a technique I was already exposed to I really liked the attention to detail that Professor Bruninho put into it and the amount of time we were given to work on it. For me personally, one or two connected techniques is plenty for me for one day!!
After a short water break, it was time to roll. I paired off with my partner, John, my age but a bit bigger with a nice blue belt game. We struggled for the entire six minutes. It was a good battle. I think we ended with me in side-control getting a chance (finally) to work some of my top-pressure game.
After that, Professor Bruinho came over and said…”wanna roll”?
“Absolutely”, I said. As the timer counted down to “GO”, I thought quickly to myself: “Time to step it up, man…you’re gonna need to go hard as you can to keep up”.
“DING” went the counter! I stepped forward into his guard and opted to play against his DLR guard – I had been playing the DLR pass a lot lately so I thought, “no big deal.” Professor quickly changed the game and went shin-shin guard. “No problem” I thought, “I’ve been drilling this pass at Professor Braga’s!” I went to shirk aside his shin on mine but didn’t manage to clear it. I reset and tried again…no luck. Hi grips were squarely on my sleeves now and he was starting to apply some pressure on my hip with his right foot. I knew he was playing with me. I tried again to slip his shin. I turned my hips, dropped my knee all the way to the floor and did my best Elvis impersonation…couldn’t clear it!
Just about then I felt the ground come out from beneath me. The sweep was his and I scurried to get a single leg X. I managed it, kind of, but didn’t manage to get my foot on his hip before he shut me out with his elbow. It was only a matter of time before the pass. “I’d better get the full X, while there is still time” Next thing I know, Professor Bruninho slapped my knee under his hips and sat down into the mount! I struggled quickly to my side and managed to scoop up his foot to make quarter guard but it was short lived. He passed easily and tapped my with a wristlock as I grabbed his lapel to defend (reminded me of Rio 🙂 )
We reset and went again, this time Professor played a spider guard and the match was short-lived…I tapped to the armbar. I believe I tapped at least one more time but you know how it is when you are getting creamed…they all just blur into one long tapping session…
I rolled with about four other people while I was there and they were all great rolls. Everybody was super friendly! This is one of those gyms (like Triumph BJJ in Grand Rapids) that just struck me immediately as being super-welcoming and friendly. I had such a great time that when Professor asked if I was coming back for the 8:00pm class I was stoked to say “Absolutely”.
I’ll do a quick write up on that when I get back from class!
Anyway, the moral of this story is that Monarchy MMA gets high ratings in most every category. Bjj skills and instruction: Excellent and on point!, Mat size/quality: about 800 sq. feet of flex-roll mats…super soft! I loved em’! Facility: Three hot/cold showers, water fountain and air conditioning! Comraderie: Top notch.
There is absolutely no reason not to go check out Monarchy MMA the next time you are in the KL. I can’t wait to see how it goes tonight!
until then, Oss and good training!