Grappling, Brazilian style
I’ve been exploring well within my comfort zone these last couple of weeks and needed something a bit more rugged this time. Sometimes fitness needs to hurt a bit. So it was back to the London Fight Factory, this time to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
BJJ involves a lot of ground fighting and grappling. It apparently teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique. Perfect for short weaklings then.
I took a friend with me this time; dragged him from the leafy streets of Parsons Green and in to a sweaty East End fight club full of men with proper scars. Poor chap. Male-female on-the-floor grappling can of course offer a level of awkwardness that’s enough to test any friendship, but we soon got in to the swing of things (once I’d been told off for giggling).
The class involved rounds of on-floor grappling from different start points to try various techniques. A couple of the moves were really effective, even for a newcomer. Others looked like they would be but I couldn’t for the life of me put them in to practice when faced with a big, hairy assailant.
In theory, good technique should let me beat the big boys, but I think I’d need a few trial runs on someone a bit lighter and less capable first, perhaps a five-year-old girl. For my opponents, it was probably much like flipping a tortoise on to its back.
We came away feeling like we’d done some proper exercise, and even had a few bruises to show off.
But for my little crush on a man known only as ‘Big Mac’ (yum), I probably wouldn’t go back to that particular class. I’m too much of a wimp. But I love the London Fight Factory and will keep going back as there are all sorts of other things to try. Next time I’ll have a go at mixed martial arts, otherwise known as cage fighting.
Check it out for yourself. First class is free, and then you can pay as you go or become a member: http://www.londonfightfactory.com/
Read my other review of the LFF on Muay Thai Boxing here: http://ditchthetreadmill.net/2010/09/07/muay-thai-boxing-at-the-london-fight-factory/