Last week I had the pleasure of attending a seminar by one of the Dirty Dozen Chris Haueter. This is first seminar I have attended for a couple of years, because of the shoulder surgeries. So I was really looking forward to this seminar.
The session started very informally by Chris explaining why he had to tape his wrist and fingers up. This was both a humorous and very relatable story, which set the informal tone of the whole evening. So the night was kicked off by going back to the fundamentals. Retaining posture whilst in guard was the starting point. Chris managed to provide a number memorable comments to assist with recalling the key points. This was followed nicely by some breaking closed guard techniques, which could not have been better for me, because this is something I have really been struggling with. So we were shown some tweaks and some new little things to improve closed guard breaking. Mrs Munki who came with me was a little nervous before the event, but she liked his relaxed teaching style as it set her at ease. Also because the first few techniques were something that were something she wanted to learn and they sunk in well.
After these first few techniques we progressed onto some passing guard and some control techniques. This was all really good stuff, but it was the additional philosphical comments that put what we were learning into context. One thing amongst many others he said was that jiu jitsu is an art about your guard. Retaining guard or passing guard and then everything else branches off from this, which if you think about it is true. This was just one of a number of insights that Chris provided during the session. Also the additional interesting analogies that he provided to assist with undertaking the techniques in the correct way, helped with the learning process.
After all of the jiu jitsu activity we settled into a spontanous Q and A. This turned into both a theoretical and historical time. One very good point he made during this time, was that every time you get promoted you need to go back and work on your fundamentals and that is why he had worked on that with us. Once again this made complete sense.
I could go on and list the many interesting and very valid points and stories he recounted to us, but that would spoil it if you got the opportunity to attend on of his seminars. One thing I would say is if you do get the chance definitely take it.
As a brief follow on from this I have been using some of the fundamental points Chris showed us and I have to say it may be psychological or for real, but I feel a bit more in control now when I roll. These few tweaks have made a great difference for me.
Thanks to Adam at Factory BJJ for the opportunity and Chris Haueter for the great content.
So for the passed few weeks I have been working on inverting. As a 6 foot 3 inch guy going upside down quickly has not been easy. One of the issues was the shoulder that I have recently (7 months ago) had surgery on wasn’t quite as mobile as the other one. But I figured that the drills for inverting would do some good and help with the overall mobility and reduce some stillness.
I initially started drilling at home from a couple of you tube videos. This went ok, but I was still finding it a struggle. I happened to mention in a tweet that a needed to learn the berimbolo after watching this video.
My coach who I have privates with saw the tweet and suggested we work on it as it was something that he had specialised in over the past few years. I agreed even though I was not sure how I would do this as my home inversion drilling hadn’t been too good.
I went expecting to struggle, but after some expert tutoring I actually started to get the movements down. One of the things Adam said to me at this time, was that learning this technique would be good. As big guys should learn to fight like smaller guys. Siting Marcus Almeida “Buchecha” as an example of a guy who fights like a much smaller guy, which surprises opponents. 1. I am in no way comparing myself to Buchecha and 2. this is a really valid point. As larger fighters can be slower and a little less technical as we can rely a little on strength. Where as if you use more technique and less strength I will be playing my game and not the same as my opponent. So this spurred me on to work on this technique.
So during the week I was in my garage practising the inversion drills, getting over the dizziness they initially caused me. Ready for week two of the training. During this time I found out that that my berimbolo training had been the subject of Mrs Munki’s conversation with a friend at an open mat session. They were wondering how someone as tall as me and with such lanky legs would cope with it. (I guess this justifies Adam’s comment).
After week two focusing on this, I have now got the basics of the technique in this Old Munki brain and I am drilling them and looking to integrate into my game when I spar. I am hoping that I can surprise a few people with it. I know from recent drilling I need to improve my speed with this, but from the doubtful and nervous start I am starting to get the hang of this technique and feeling more comfortable inverted and to be honest actually finding it fun. This is something I must admit I am surprised with and I have to thank Adam for.
I have done other posts previously about food and eating paleo (or as the cool kids are calling it now “evolutionary eating”). I have been a great advocate of this way of eating for a number of years, ever since I did the Robb Wolf 30 day challenge and lost 14lbs without even trying. I have strayed I’m not perfect, I do like ice cream and a pizza occasionally, but as these are infrequent I usually bounce back from any negative impacts on my body within 24-48 hours.
However I have just been to New York and my diet went out of the window. I fell hard out of the tallest coconut tree and hit the tree on the way down. That is how bad I felt after properly coming off my diet. Mrs Munki had a number of restaurants she wanted to visit and most of them were either sugar based or wheat based foods. Being a good husband, of course I joined in with her and then started to regret it within about 3 days. I started getting some serious stomach pain and felt really lethargic. I also get the feeling that this also contributed to why the jet lag hit me so hard when we returned home to the UK. A weak body does not recover quickly or cope with stress well. The gut pain has remained with me on my return and I found it really hard to kick the junk food habit.
I have had to finally acknowledge what I already knew that you are what you eat. So if I am eating poor food I will feel poorly! At my age you would think that doing the right thing so I can enjoy my life would be the sensible and appropriate thing to do. Errmm nope the sugary draw of ice cream and chocolate has been too much and as a consequence I am not really healing. So it is with the thought in mind that I am effectively hurting myself by doing this and every subsequent time I perpetuate the situation by eating gluten or sugar. I have to give myself an opportunity to heal and recover. Just as I would do after a hard training session.
I have adjusted my diet this week and have coped with the migraine detox headaches that I inevitably get, which stop me training. I have written this to try and enforce my resolve with the matter as well. As if I can go I couple of weeks without relapsing I can get the gluten out of my system and start to feel better and more alert. This will increase my resolve and will have an ongoing effect to maintain my clean eating ways.
I think the take away (excuse the inappropriate reference) from this is that staying 100% clean living is something really hard to maintain. But having it in place the large majority of the time, makes your body strong and gives it a good level of resilience against those infrequent times when you fall off the wagon (or tree). But abusing your body with poor food takes away this resilience and is effectively like kicking yourself when you are down.
So please send some gluten free positive thoughts my way to help me over this initial hump.