Fight For Fun #4

Today was the last day of the fight-fun-fun camp – at least for Elias and me. The only thing scheduled for tomorrow are a sparring session, which most likely no one will attend and some rafting. Now obviously the rafting is meant as some kind of social event, an opportunity to come together and get to know each other. After spending 4 days of hard training together, I’m pretty sure I got to know the guys and girls I grappled with far better than I could ever possibly in those two hours on a boat. Hence, I don’t really see a point in staying and spending more money. My goal was to train and learn as much as I could, and that’s exactly what I did. My joints ache from all those submissions. My neck is killing me. I’m feeling like I haven’t slept in days. In a nutshell: I’m happy.

I started the day rather easy today, taking a class on agility training with Daniel Gärtner. That guy is a sport scientist at the technical university of Munich so he’s pretty much up to day when it comes to state-of-the-art training methods. Visit his homepage at www.daniel-gaernter.de. The session was basically more of a theory unit, complemented by some practical drills. Daniel covered the various forms of stretching (static, active, easy-stretching, development-stretch, pnf, …) along with their pros and cons for martial arts. He put a strong emphasis on the fact that all forms of stretching are not created equal, so the proper method must be employed to reach a specific goal. Although he did a great job with the session, considering the fact that most martial artists still do some static stretching before warmup up and never give it a second thought, I have to say I didn’t really hear new stuff. However, Daniel pointed out that he can’t go into great detail due to the limited time and promised to make the presentation slides available for download. I’ll definately go through that material again, as it really covers everything a martial artist needs to know about stretching.

After a rather relaxed morining session, I took another MMA class with Andre Reiners. Again, we did a terrifying warmup, consisting mostly of burpees and boxing runs. Then, we repeated the positions we covered so far (guard, half guard, side mount, full mount, knee on belly, north-south) and the transitions between those positions. We were taught another choke to apply when the opponent tries to escape the side mount. Also, from the mount, Andre had us practice the Americana shoulder lock and an armbar to be applied when the mounted guy tries to escape the Americana by extending his arm.

Since we knew we weren’t going to stay for another day, I decided to do all of the four sessions today. So, I finally gave the Muay Thai class a try and I really can’t say I regret it. My neck is pretty messed up since we spent most of the time in the Thai-Clinch, but I definately took home some pointers and details I wasn’t aware of before.

Finally, I finished the day (and the camp) with one last MMA session. This time, Andre covered all kinds of leg-locks:

  • the achilles lock
  • the ankle lock
  • the heel hook
  • the kneebar from the half-guard

Of course, we did all of with along with ways to counter escapes, pass the guard, etc. Andre really did a great job wrapping up all those techniques and presenting them as one structured bundle. I often have the feeling that martial arts instructors focus too much on teaching individual techniques, but really lack a concept to make them work together. Andre might not have taught us a great number of individual techniques (although I feel it was quite a lot), but he really gave us a solid base for everything he showed us.

I really enjoyed the fight-for-fun camp. Obviously, there were some bothersome details, but all in all I’m definately satisfied. Not only have I learned a lot as a fighter and athlete, I’m also taking home some ideas to enchance the classes I hold. As soon as I can get my hands on photos, I’ll put them up in an „Impressions“ post.

So long,

take care

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