I had technically attended one jiu-jitsu seminar already, when big deal Demian Maia visited my gym in March. That seminar I attended from the sidelines, recovering from a respiratory infection. But now I have attended a seminar where I actually got to do stuff! May 2019 namely brought round Norwegian Espen Mathiesen, who taught knee slides, reverse De La Riva techniques, and the fact that Sohvi (me) sucks at spinning on their back.
Notes from a seminar weekend
- Knee slides can be used against an opponent employing for example half guard, De La Riva, and reverse De La Riva. It was thus very helpful that Mathiesen came to teach knee slides to our team on Friday already, when reverse De La Riva was explored on Saturday in the actual seminar.
- Mathiesen was apparently born in 1995, making him six years younger than me. I felt as devastated by this news as learning at 26 that one of my neurosurgeons was 25.
- I understood more of the things taught this time round than at Maia’s seminar. Maybe I’ve learned a bit more jiu-jitsu since then or maybe actually doing the techniques myself helped. I don’t claim I got everything right away, especially most of the reverse De La Riva techniques knotted my brain in a twist. At least I got the general gist of the entire event, which was nice.
- Both days, I drilled techniques with only one partner. This was a nice change, as I practiced with the same people for 2 hours each instead of the usual 1 hour per class. Drilling fell into a nice rhythm, though I did start to become a bit overtired by Saturday afternoon.
- I’ve been suffering from more paresthesia than usual for a while. The seminar calmed the sensations down, which made me hopeful that at least it’s nothing progressive like, I don’t know, a tumour recurrence. Perfect people would live their life to the fullest and not worry, but I’m a human survivor and sometimes we worry. (My specialists believe a recurrence would NOT cause symptoms related to my sense of touch anymore, so this anxiety is probably all, heh, in my head). Just a note that sometimes chronically ill or disabled training partners can appear slow because they are dealing with their body. Be kind. <3
- On Friday, I was able to use at least some techniques we had just been shown during sparring. And I made an two-stripe white belt tap. With an Americana, which I have almost learned now.
- On Saturday, I got to drill reverse De La Riva with a white belt I met at the women’s camp in Tallinn. So cool, Estonian BJJ Girls can lead to rewarding connections for a non-binary white belt from Helsinki as well.
- Most reverse De La Riva techniques – at least the ones I saw this weekend – require spinning at some point. I still suck hard at that. I am able to invert perfectly by bringing my legs over my neck but movements sideways – which would have been essential now – are still pitiful. I was so frustrated by my own performance that I asked Head Coach if there are any inversion solo drills I don’t yet know about. Now that I have finally learned the forward roll, maybe sideways inversions are my next White Elephant.
- Seminars = still cool.