Monday, January 26, 2009

Training at SuperPro Samui in Thailand

So, first report from my Thailand trip :) Internet access has been pretty limited up until now, so not been able to post much here.

I just spend a week in amazing Koh Samui, Thailand, and had the pleasure of stopping by the SuperPro Samui gym on the island for some training.

The gym is (naturally) mainly a Muay Thai gym, but they have adapted MMA and Submission Wrestling into their program for those interested. Most people coming here, are obviously there to learn Muay Thai, so the MMA classes are quite small.

The gym is located aruond five minutes on motorbike from the biggest tourist beach on the island (Chaweng). Walking to the beach would probably be pretty long from there, but there is a pool if you really want to swim. The place is one big building with rooms for rent at typical thai prices (=rediculous cheap) and includes free training every day.

The facilities were pretty nice although I found the gym itself pretty small and cramped. It is basically a small weight lifting area, two rings and a cage. Then there is a very small matted area with about 6-8 heavybags. Much smaller than I am used to in my own (luxury ;)) gym back home.

The MMA/grappling class is done in the cage, so there is limited space. But it is ok for 3-4 couples max to spar at the same time.

The trainer when I was there, was a big guy from Armenia. Seriously, this guy was BIG. With an obvious judo background, biceps the size of my thighs and a passionate love for 100% muscle-style headlocks of all types, it was quite a bitch to roll with him :D Being in complete vacation shape, I was not really in the mood for power vs. power rolls, but we had some good rolls and I was more sore than ever before in my life the day after the training from being folded, cranked and crushed in every imaginable way for two hours.

The training itself was mostly sparring. About 10-15 minutes of technical (=headlock) training and then some rolls. The guys training there (about 5 that day) was really, really nice and I had some great chats with them about training and traveling.

Technical level was quite low, but ofcourse, I guess only few people come to Thailand to learn anything but Muay Thai, so I was not surprised. I had some good, nice rolls with the guys and it was great to do some physical training on my vacation.

I also ran into a really cool guy from Germany, David Marcina, who fought my friend Thomas La Cour a few years back, when I was in the corner. At first I didn't recognized him but suddently it came to me. He told me he has had more than 30 fights now so that was very impressive. Great sparring with him, he had a solid base in the grappling and had improved lots since I saw him fight in Denmark.

All in all it was cool to visit the gym, even if it was only for one day. Samui is a fantastic place and I would recommend anyone thinking of going to do it. Muay Thai training looked really good, there were some very good guys there. Unfortunately, my hip injuty prevents me from joining in (plus the fact that I am too lazy for that crazy training LOL).

Today, I just flew on to Phuket, and in five minutes I will walk to Tiger Muay Thai gym. They asked if I can teach some of their grappling classes and I will gladly do that. Looking forward to meet the guys there and get some good training out of it :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Off to Thailand

Sunday, I am going to Thailand for about three weeks. I have found some MMA gyms down there, where I will try and do some training, so expect some travel reports here in the blog.

Meanwhile, enjoy the winter!! :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

795 flighthours

So I finally got past the first 200 hours of sparring for my flighthours project. I have been having a little problems with my right shoulder for the last month and a half or so, so I have not been able to lift any weights or do full intensity sparring. It is getting better now though, and I am slowly starting to pick up the pace in sparring again. I have shot some sparring video for the flighthours archive.

As always, I have a very specific list on what I am working on improving in sparring at the moment. I had a great period before the last competition, where I worked on my A-game, and after that I have felt more like playing around with a little more "advanced" techniques, which my sparring shows very clearly.

My focus have been on implementing technically difficult moves, just to challenge myself to raise the bar for what I can execute in full resistance sparring. Several of the moves have been inspired by Ryan Hall's game. The current list looks like this:

- Rolling backtake from sidecontrol
- Inverted guard as defense and offense
- "Double-jump" guardpasses (I will make a video on this shortly)
- Setting up x-guard and sweeping
- Fireman's carry takedown
- Basic mount attacks from Saulo's videos (gi)

I will have to wait a little longer to work on the fireman's carry since I can not yet do any wrestling due to my shoulder injury :,(

Other updates:

- I have just gotten off the phone with Caleb from the Fightworks Podcast for an interview for the podcast. I hope it turns out well :)

- We are working our asses off these days to get the new gym ready. I hope we can start training in the beginning of next week!

- Sunday, I am launching a new grappling tournament held in our gym with the exotic name "Shogun Invitational" :D The concept is to make a tournament that is easy to arrange and easy to participate in. The big tournaments are awesome, but for many people it can feel like too much work to prepare and participate in them. This is a once-a-month submission wrestling tournament where people only get one fight. They know their opponent on beforehand, so they can prepare for that one fight, and they don't have to wait around all day. Hope it will be a succes, even my BJJ kids are competing there so really looking forward to it!

- Next sunday, I am off to Thailand for 19 days with my girlfriend. I have looked at some different MMA camps down there, where we will definitely stop by for some grappling training. I will be sure to write some posts about my experiences there :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Almost like Christmas again!!

Yesterday was the best day of 2009. Not that that should be something spectacular, since only six days of the year had passed by, but it was really a good day.

First of all, I won the Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blog of the Year 2008 contest from Fightworks Podcast!! I actually didn't expect that at all, since I "only" placed 5th last year, so it was really cool to get an email with the result. A big thanks to all you out there who voted for me, I am really honored that people apparently like my little blog and actually are reading it. I mostly do it for my own sake anyways :) Big thanks to the guys from the Fightworks Podcast for doing an awesome show and I can't wait to receive the prizes that look really sweet. I will definitely do a review on the video and book I have won and post it here.

Secondly, later in the day, we finally closed the deal for expansion of our gym! We have been working really hard over the last 3 years to expand our gym since we have really outgrown our current facilities, and finally it happened so it was a HUGE relief. We have started moving today and the new place is gonna be killer. Only 50 meters from our current, and we are gonna have 3 matspaces, a cage, a boxing ring and everything else we have dreamed about for so long.

Third, after two weeks of almost nonstop programming, I launched the new version of my danish martialarts website I have been running the site for seven years now and it is really cool to see it still thrive with 3500-4000 unique visitors a day (that's a lot for a country with 6 million people total).

So all in all, January 6th is a pretty serious candidate for the best day of the year 2009! :D

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year :)

(took this photo from my balcony around ten minutes past midnight)