Last week, my wife, son and I visited her folks in California, and my brother in law was able to hook me up with some California Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners to train with this week. This seemed to be a fairly informal group that works out the gym of the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club (of which my brother in law is the president). The instructor of this club is on the board of the Boys & Girls Club, and is an associate of my brother-in-law. Despite still not being able to turn my neck fully at this point (it is just muscle soreness, it will go away - honest!), the training was top notch.
Class was taught by a gentleman named Craig Husband, who is a 16 yr student of Rickson Gracie. Craig is a bear of a man, a 30 yr kempo practitioner, Ventura county undersheriff, and all around nice guy.
We warmed up by just doing some easy rolling amongst each other. I got submitted eventually, but felt pretty good for a while against a nice chiropractor named Mitch (a chiropractor in a grappling class - how fortuitous). Next Craig wanted a go. Grappling Craig was like wrestling a brick wall. He didn't seem to have to move much to pin you to the mat like a bug in a collection. He taught me an escape or two along the way, but I was mostly helpless once he got his hands on me. A good learning experience to say the least.
Next we partnered up and worked on a particular escape from a side mount, which when done correctly, could culminate in an ankle/knee lock. The mantra during the entire class was "structure, structure, structure" - use your structure to unbalance your opponent rather than your muscle. And it was good advice to heed, as I think I was probably the smallest guy in the class! Need to work on that structure!
Class ended with some more rolling. I rolled with a very large deputy sheriff named Greg. I was able to, this time, maintain superior position through most of our match, but was unable to submit him before Craig called a stop to the class.
After class the group hung out in the parking lot and talked for a bit, and Craig and his cohort told me that I had an invite to train the next time I was in California. Craig also said that I "had good jiu-jitsu basics", but I think he was just being nice
It was a great time, they are a good bunch of guys, and I will definitely take them up on their offer of training during future visits.
Thanks for indulging me!