It is reading break! I am in Campbell River, my hometown, visiting my family for a few days. In Campbell River, there is a martial arts gym called Pure Self Defense which offers classes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, kick boxing, karate, women’s self defense, and general fitness. I grew up training kick boxing at this gym and know a few of the instructors quite intimately. One of them has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. His name is Spence Shaw. We went to high school together, and ever since I’ve known him, he’s been obsessed with BJJ. He lives and breathes this grappling sport and has competed in many tournaments, often placing gold.
While in Campbell River, I attended a drop in BJJ class led by Spence to see how much I’ve improved. The moment I walked in the door, I locked eyes with Spence. He was sporting a blue gi with his brown belt tied around his waist. He immediately said “there’s no kickboxing right now, get lost!”. To his surprise, I told him that I was attending a drop in class led by some “dumb idiot”. Don’t worry, we are friends – this was just our usual banter.
The class was so much fun and extremely informative. It was a one hour session with the first twenty minutes dedicated to demonstrating two specific techniques, twenty minutes for the students to practice the technique with partners, and the last twenty minutes was allotted for free grappling and practice. Spence demonstrated two types of chokes: the d’arce and the anaconda. These moves are very hard to describe through a blog, so I will include them in my future video demonstrations.
Spence gave me some very good feedback on my BJJ progress. He suggested I attend more than one class a week. My knowledge and theory of the grappling is there, but my execution needs to be cleaner. He said this only comes with practice and an instructor who can give constant feedback. I appreciated Spence’s advice, but I retorted that the PDP program is too demanding for me to attend more than one class a week. He laughed and wished me luck on my journey to becoming a teacher.