31/10/2006 – ZSK

University of Warwick Zhuan Shu Kuan (ZSK), Rod Richardson, Coventry, UK – 31/10/2006

As with last week, I was feeling a little shitty so was in two minds about training today. However, also as with last week, I got a text from Paddy saying he couldn’t make it, and as I didn’t want to leave the class without anyone to take the warm-up, I forced myself onto campus.

Had a chat with a guy I haven’t seen before, who I think called himself Bly or something like that, who is apparently Chinese but has lived in Thailand all his life. He’s done some form of wu shu before, but didn’t know what I meant when I asked him about san shou and sanda – could well be he doesn’t know it under those terms, or the pronunciation is very different. Same goes for Cung Le, but I’m sure I said that wrong.

I ran the warm-up with my normal routine, but because Rod got stuck in traffic, I had to take a bit of the main class as well. As with the last few times that’s happened, I got everyone to pair up with some focus mitts than work jab-cross, followed by the same but a more ‘alive’ drill (getting the person with the mitts to move around and whack them). That was followed by a simple fitness drill: go as hard and fast as possible with jab-cross for a minute. Much more fun than yet more press-ups, although I have to be careful as I don’t feel comfortable teaching technique – after all, I’m not qualified as a brown belt, especially a brown belt that has only trained on Tuesdays for the past couple of years.

I was just finishing off a turning kick drill when Rod finally arrived. Due to the crappy traffic, he was in a pretty bad mood. We went straight into the formal stuff, and Rod was far from impressed. The one person who is grading this year got a grilling, and it didn’t help that I could barely remember the two-man fixed spar. I may think the formal side of things is pointless, but it doesn’t do anything for Rod’s irritation if I’m forgetting stuff!

The whole class repeatedly got punishment press-ups for things like not doing a kiai when drawing back before the fixed spar. That’s exactly the kind of thing I find really unnecessary, but in ZSK, the formal syllabus is a part of class, whether I like it or not. It did at least work up a sweat, given all the press-ups. Same goes for the linework, although I was getting a little concerned about my left shoulder by this point. Seems to be ok at the moment, but hopefully its not going to start protesting tomorrow.

Really looking forward to my first full BJJ class on Thursday, though I still need to clarify the contractual elements. The only thing that worries me is what happens if I get injured/ill for a long period and the direct debit is running. But we’ll see – I’ve managed to convince my girlfriend it’s a good idea (she was a bit concerned about the finances, but I literally went through my monthly budget so she could see I’ve got enough to afford it), so I should be at Roger Gracie Academy at least twice a week from next week onwards (just the one class this week). Its been entertaining reading some of the training logs on Bullshido, especially people like Bud Shi Dist, where I can see the progression from the first BJJ lesson onwards.

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