Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On running

Our ancestors apparently ran their prey to exhaustion, barefoot, on whatever surface they needed to run on. No, they didn't have cement back in the day, but close enough.

According to recent research, there's no need for fancy shoes when running, regardless of surface. Technology doesn't replace proper technique; not in running, or auto racing for that matter. It just turns out we don't run properly anymore.

Back at the lab, Lieberman found that barefoot runners land with almost zero initial impact shock. Heel-strikers, by comparison, collide with the ground with a force equal to as much as three times their body weight. “Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain.”

So what are we to do about this? This is something I will try, in order to rediscover proper running form :

The 100-Up consists of two parts. For the “Minor,” you stand with both feet on the targets and your arms cocked in running position. “Now raise one knee to the height of the hip,” George writes, “bring the foot back and down again to its original position, touching the line lightly with the ball of the foot, and repeat with the other leg.”
That’s all there is to it. But it’s not so easy to hit your marks 100 times in a row while maintaining balance and proper knee height. Once you can, it’s on to the Major: “The body must be balanced on the ball of the foot, the heels being clear of the ground and the head and body being tilted very slightly forward. . . . Now, spring from the toe, bringing the knee to the level of the hip. . . . Repeat with the other leg and continue raising and lowering the legs alternately. This action is exactly that of running.”

Obligatory Youtube video

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday November 21 264th class

Did my first warm-up ever, and apparently it was good enough in its purpose. Worked the classical sequence : jumping-jacks, squats, push-ups, crunches, side crunches, the three open guard motions and the neck warmup. Class was rather big, but hey, it was Monday.
Helped a few people with technique, to the best of my ability, but I stood within my circle of knowledge, refusing to wander out. When I didn't know the move, I stick to whatever we're told to teach.
Had a very enlightening black belt class : it was on passing the butterfly guard, taught by no other than prof. Bruno himself. That usually means it's the best advice we can possibly hope for with regard to butterfly. Surprisingly enough, he didn't emphasize running around the guard, or any funny movements, but rather controlling one or the other legs, from the inside or the outside, then either sprawling the weight + moving in a clock-like fashion, or a quick stopover.
Varied my rolls quite a bit. IN some, I insisted on playing open guard, others half-guard, others not breaking a single sweat. All in all I find it funny how little energy you really DO need to expend. Most of the time people fight for little things a bit too long, in sparring. Yeah, I have to pay for that with the occasional side control or mount, but if I can survive, all the better. I can better read the person's intentions by rolling this way. Also, I tried to go from spider to half back to spider quite a bit, in order to improve those transitions. There is a lot of work to do in that area, as far as I am concerned. Now I luckily also have the butterfly guard passes to play with as well.
All in all, good times.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16th 262nd class

I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to, but today I rolled with GSP himself for a quick 5-minute round. He used the butterfly guard a lot, as well as kimura/armbar attempts and finishes : no chokes so far. He seems to have a very simple-functional game : nothing fancy, just solid fundamentals. His arm bar was as perfect as could have been, in my opinion.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Prof. Bruno surprised me the other day by asking me if I'd like to become an assistant instructor, in a few months time. I am obviously extremely excited about the opportunity. I would love to spread my passion for the art through detailed instruction !