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#321270 - 02/08/07 08:36 PM I got to do BJJ in California!
Xibalba Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 499
Loc: Lansing, MI, USA

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!


#321271 - 02/08/07 09:13 PM Re: I got to do BJJ in California! [Re: Xibalba]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Sounds like a fun and informative time, Mike. I would love a chance to roll with some experienced Rickson Gracie students. Sounds like you did pretty good, considering.

"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#321272 - 02/08/07 09:43 PM Re: I got to do BJJ in California! [Re: MattJ]
Xibalba Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 499
Loc: Lansing, MI, USA
Hi Matt!

Pictures? Unfortunately not. This was quite a surprise of an opportunity. I have never brought so much as a mouthpiece to CA on previous visits, as our trips are to visit family and not for training. (Fortunately for me, my lovely wife said "you should make sure to work out with them again when we come back in the summer" ).

And, as for how I did, probably better than someone who hasn't trained, but not by much . I haven't had formal BJJ instruction for over a decade, and the best I can do is try to show our karate students the basics just so I have rolling partners. After (mostly) dominating my fellow karate club members on the ground, this was a nice reminder of how little about the intricacies of grappling I actually know.

What this did for me, however, was inspire me to try to get as much mat time as I can, when I can, and with whoever I can. I ran some grappling drills in our karate class this past Tuesday, focusing on what we drilled in CA, and some of us are also getting together to roll this weekend (a couple of others have some experience in grappling arts as well, so there are at least a few years of experience between us).

After all, I can't look like I haven't been practicing the next time I visit So-Cal!


#321273 - 02/09/07 01:32 PM Re: I got to do BJJ in California! [Re: Xibalba]
Dereck Offline

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10416
Loc: Great White North
I love posts like this. You're humble and you learned a lot and you conveyed how much you enjoyed things. Plus you are going to continue to train ... I'm envious and I'm glad you shared this.


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