Poland #2

Had a hell of a day.

At 12:00 I went to the MMA training at Miroslaw Okninskis Vale Tudo school (www.valetudo.pl).
Unfortunately, due to the fact that Okninski himself is currently at his clubs summer training camp, there was no actual trainer to supervise the lesson. However, there was a BJJ guy (Christopher), a former wrestling now MMA guy (Maciek, if I remember correctly), a professional MMA fighter with 21 fights under his hat (Martin) and – me.

The pro arrived late, like 40 – 50 minutes after the lesson started.
Up to that point, we warmed up and started with some combinations of strikes and takedowns as shown by Maciek. After that, the BJJ guy took us through some exercises to pass the half-guard and get into a full mount position. Lastly, we did that free-form, so one partner would establish a half-guard and try to keep it or submit the guy on top, who, in turn tries to establish a full mount position. About that time, Martin came in and joined us.

The whole training took about one and a half hours.
After training I asked the guys how much time they’d spend on standup (e.g. striking) training.
While the answer „about 20%“ didn’t actually surprise me, it pretty clearly shows the route professional MMA has taken lately. Still, I prefer keeping the fight standing up.

At 20:00 I had Sambo training at Bartlomiej Mendeks Sambo club (www.sambo.pl).
For warmup, his co trainer had us go through a set of gymnastic exercises. Then, the group was split into a Muay Thai group and a Sambo group. Since my goal was to practice Sambo and my knee isn’t yet up to Muay Thai training anyways, I joined the Sambo group.

Just as known from Jud and BJJ, we did began training with technique work and then came to sparring. Again, as in Judo, we first did ground fighting only, followed by standup grappling only and finally free form sparring.

Although this sounds like just another grappling class, it certainly isn’t. Some of those guys really were quick as weasels. The fact that slams are allowed – soyou can basically stand up and drop onto an opponent who has established a guard position on you – doesn’t allow for much passivity. Also, when it comes to clothing, everything from traditional Sambo gear – short trunks and a gi jacket – to MMA pants with no shirt whatsoever, everything was present. This variety of circumstances definately forces you to work with different techniques and employ a different tactic in every round.

To sum things up, I’d rather box those guys than grapple with them.

Anyhow, we finished the training with strength-endurance conditioning. Pretty basic stuff, pushups, v-ups, lots of jumping… Since I didn’t want to strain my knee unnecessarily (it already hurt from sparring), I was told to do more pushups. So I did pushups. Endless numbers of them. Well, it certainly didn’t do me no bad.

The Sambo training took me approximately two hours.

I enjoyed both training sessions today and definately won’t compare them to each other since both were unique and completely different from each other.

Tomorrow, it’ll be BJJ at Okninskis school, then I’ll tell you more.

So long,

take care

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