August 5, 2013
With Triforce Ikebukuro closed for a summer break (a break being 4 days only) some of the Ikebukuro boys went down to Shinjuku to attend class. The Shinjuku studio is a great space; it has a long mat, which is great for drilling technique and sparring without bumping into other guys.
Lots of mat space at Shinjuku TF
Today’s class was all about half guard sweeps, some pretty novel ones at that. Shibamoto sensei showed us a sweep where from a shallow half guard he moved his left hand to control his opponent’s left wrist, then with his right hand he pushed his opponent’s knee away, breaking his balance. From there he elevated his opponent onto both of his knees before sweeping him over his shoulders, himself flipping over and finishing in his opponent’s half guard – as I was practicing it I thought it could fit well into my game – but god if it isn’t really painful on your neck if you mess the roll up!
Sawada & Sakamoto sans
June 4, 2013
It’s the 5th tomorrow which means the academy is closed for regular BJJ sessions, but will be open at 9am for the weekly yoga class. I’ve been attending this class since it started up a month or so ago and I’ll tell you now – Yoga works! I feel fractionally more flexible and have a little more confidence stressing out my right shoulder which has been a problem for me for a while since my neck injury – up to now the class has been a bit of a low key affair – usually 3 or 4 people turning up. I asked some of the guys if they would like to join in or not, with the common consensus being that 9am is a little too early!
Yasuyama sensei (middle)
May 18, 2013
The Golden Week has thrown my whole month out of whack. So far this month I’ve trained 7 times with today (as I write) being the 18th, meaning a session once every two and a bit days – At best I want to be at 10 log ins by the 20th, meaning I’m a bit off pace – granted, a three day bender from the 14th to Kyushu hasn’t helped matters, but now that I’m back I’m going to try and get to that magical 16 log ins by the end of the month!
I could skip out of work a little early yesterday, so I headed up to Triforce for the beginner class at 9pm. This class was headed up by Shibamoto sensei as Triforce Shinjuku was closed, freeing him up to come over to Ikebukuro. As the name suggests, the class is all about fundamentals, which is something I need take a look at from time to time 🙂
Shibamoto sensei demonstrating the Pick Sweep
Shibamoto sensei’s teaching is good – really good. He explains things slowly and deliberately, elaborating on the finer points of the technique multiple times. Case in point, he went deep with the fact that when working through the sweep combinations he had taught the class when sparring or whatever, you should never lose control of your opponents’ sleeve, whether you are holding onto the near side ankle with your left hand for the pick sweep or switching hands and reaching with the right hand for the inverted scissors sweep – he demonstrated how he transitions through the combinations, asking the class to focus on his the way he worked his sleeve control – fundamentals 101!
April 13, 2013
With the competition tomorrow I thought I’d take it easy today and attend the beginner class headed up by Hayakawa sensei. This class begins at noon on Saturdays – I thought it would be pretty busy, but it turned out that only 5 people attended, due in part to the popularity of Kim san’s no-gi class which runs from 13:30. I might end up giving no-gi a go sometime in the future – but for now I’m all about the gi!
Hayakawa sesei demonstrating some spider guard sweeps
I think I’m going to attend a few beginner classes per month from now on. Form and execution are paramount and I was picked up a few times on this when going through the spider guard sweep drill. We studied three variations, and after having the finer points explained to me (after seven years how many times must this be now?!), it seems I’ve been powering through these with more with my hips from the bottom, rather than fully stretching my leg out to the max, in turn more easily executing the sweep – hopefully I won’t make these mistakes again!
March 18, 2013
The All Japan Master & Senior BJJ competition was held yesterday (Sunday) at the Komazawa Daigaku Olympic Stadium, near Shibuya, Japan – The JBJJF uses a lot of different venues throughout the year, but I think the Olympic Stadium is the best place for both fighters and spectators – nice seating high up and lots of space for five or six mats. Unfortunately from next month or so the local authority will renovate the Olympic Stadium, meaning it will be out of commission for a year or so – I wonder which place will be used instead….?
Komazawa Daigaku Olympic Stadium
Congrats to all the guys who competed and who picked up medals! A good number of the Triforce fraternity medalled and amongst other matches, the final of the Purple Belt Master category was contested by two Triforce fighters, Masashi and Shirtatsuki san, both from Triforce Ikebukuro – congrats to Masashi for picking up the win by arm bar!
Masashi (centre) picking up the team award
Today it was back to the grind for morning Jiu Jitsu – I was very surprised to see a lot of guys turned up, particularly after the celebratory beers the night before! Itoigakwa sensei decided to take us through some Spider Guard work as Koiwa san had some trouble passing his opponents guard in his fight yesterday.
Itoigawa sensei’s technique is pretty effective – instead of trying to wrap your hand back around to the inside of the guys leg (breaking his grip; “it works great in the textbook…but!”) taking a step back, crouching and then knocking his foot out of your inner elbow with your knee, then grabbing his ankle before simply stepping around to side control works a treat – definitely one to remember!
Tough training the morning after….
February 18, 2013
Takayama san picking up his gold
The BJJ Beginners Open was held this Saturday, all the way over at the distant town of Ageo, somewhere in Saitama. Triforce members met up on a very cold morning in Ikebukuro and caught the train, then taxi up to the venue.
Ageo Martial Arts Hall
Despite being faaaaar away, the Ageo Martial Arts hall is the business. The Mat quality is top, the space is great, and as you would expect it’s super clean and tidy. We did continue to struggle with the cold though, with some of the guys starting to warm up very quickly in order to take the edge off!
A number of the Triforce guys managed to have successful fights and medal. From Ikebukuro, Takayama and Sakamoto san had excellent performances, not to mention some of the guys from Triforce Aoyama – congratulations to all!
February 2, 2013
Saturday @ Shinjuku TF – big numbers
With the end of the silly season things have settled down (socially speaking) which means I’ve been able to train pretty regularly recently. We had a good class yesterday at Ikebukuro followed by a hard sparring session today at Shinjuku Tri Force – It seemed as if most of the lads had little to do this Saturday with a lot of them attending the regular class, then staying on the matt to work through the beginner class as well – Jiu Jitsu is nothing but value for money!