Klaus Burton

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Massive weekend

Last weekend my fiance and I traveled to Auckland for some things; we got a new car, saw some family, and went to the New Zealand trials for the Abu Dhabi World champs to support our teammates Patrick Te Tau, Amy Barratt-Boyes and James Sullivan.
We had an awesome time and they got a bunch of medals.
It was really inspiring for me and I’m setting myself the goal of competing in next year’s trials, so time for some hard training to prepare! A year feels like a short time to prepare in a sport that involves so much learning and memory but I feel potential within myself and I will try my best to keep believing that and put in the hard work.

Tomorrow I’m going to a Clark Gracie seminar, who recently took silver at the Nogi Worlds, so that will be amazing. It’s a 3 hour seminar split into gi and nogi for 1.5 hours each.

Here’s a video I took of Amy winning by armbar:

MPlayer development

I’ve been officially added to the MPlayer development team now which is pretty great. No real news here, just bragging :)

Back to enjoyment

I’ve been back at jiu jitsu training lately and I’m really loving it. I’ve had one “episode” last Saturday so that shows the problem hasn’t been fully fixed but it has been pushed back and I can work with that now.
So hopefully I won’t have to talk about that anymore!
I’ve been doing training some weeknights with friends, and tramping in the weekends, so my fitness is on the right track to getting where I want it to be.
In jiu jitsu I’ve been working on my sweeps a lot, and on submissions from failed sweeps, like kimuras and triangles from failed hip-bump sweeps.
I’m also still trying to focus on not laying on my back when I’m on the bottom. I’m trying to be posted on one hand/forearm/elbow at all times. It’s still hard for me to do but I’m getting better at it.

Progress

I saw the cardiologist and he did some tests which included reproducing the symptoms and it allowed them to see what the problem was, or at least what a deeper symptom was.
When most people exercise, their heartrate goes up and their blood pressure does too. When I exercise, the same thing happens but then the blood pressure suddenly drops which causes all those symptoms. He called the condition exercise-induced vasovagal syncope. The heart arrhythmia that I have is within normal boundaries (apparently most people have it to some degree) so he doesn’t think it is part of this.

Unfortunately for me, although it’s not an uncommon condition, not a lot is known about it. There aren’t any pills or operations, although I am still having a heart echo on Monday so they can rule out heart-irregularities as the cause.
The only thing he could recommend was “fluid-loading”, basically meaning to drink a whole lot of water 30 mins before a workout. I’ve been doing that for the last week and haven’t had any symptoms so that seems really promising!
The other things I found when I looked it up is that it has helped athletes to work hard on their legs, which makes sense because my job (like most people these days) involved a lot of sitting so my legs do need work.

So hopefully now I can stop making these depressing posts and get back to writing about what I started this blog for, the good stuff!

Back into it for one day…

I got back from my holiday, which was lots of fun, and did the first class I could.
Well I ran into a problem I’ve had for years which is basically that when I exercise I often faint and/or throw up. It’s not so uncommon if you really push yourself but for me it can happen just from a warmup when my body isn’t tired, before I am breathing heavy or anything.
It happened twice on Monday’s session which really sucks, both for me and my training partner who has to either wait 5 mins each time for me to go to the bathroom, or find another training partner for the class.
It’s also really embarrassing for me, I try to push through it as much as I can but if I’m gonna pass out and/or throw up it is less embarrassing to do that in the bathroom than in front of a bunch of people.

I used to think it was just because of being unfit but after working hard on my fitness for the last 2 years it doesn’t seem likely anymore.
A few months ago my doctor started me on some pills to try to help but they didn’t work, and I went in on Tuesday of this week and they did an ECG (heart x-ray) which showed a heart arrhythmia, so next week I’m off to see a cardiologist so he can find the cause of the arrhythmia and hopefully fix it.
In the meantime I’ve been recommended to not do activities that would cause it to happen again.

I can’t even describe how frustrating it is to have all this desire to get better at a sport and to be making all the right choices but to be blocked by something out of my control.
I hope they can fix it.

Holiday!

I’m off to the USA tomorrow for a month. Going to Vermont for 2 weeks then Nebraska for 2 weeks. See you guys when I get back :)

Back at it

I’ve spent the last few weeks on a forced break from training because of a knee injury but I went in last night and it seems good.

Last night we did a bunch of gi chokes which seemed pretty effective, must have looked pretty funny afterwards when we all walked out with swollen red necks!
We did chokes using the pistol grip, which is when you grab the other person’s gi by the neck like you’re holding a pistol. Basically if you get a good grip on that it’s a huge advantage and there are a lot of ways to finish the choke.

Pat

One of my training partners Patrick Te Tau travels to Australia fairly regularly to compete in BJJ tournaments and these are his latest 2 wins.
We’re all really proud of him.

Trapped!

Over the last few weeks we’ve been doing a lot of sweeps and escapes in jiu jitsu. It’s taught me one thing: I really suck at them!
Some things come more naturally than others in BJJ and for me getting out of side-control is really difficult.

One tip I got which I intend to try to do is to try to always be on my side, to never be flat on my back because that allows the opponent to apply more pressure and cut off the space I can use. So if I can focus on that for a little bit hopefully I’ll get better.

Other than that we learned some cool submissions I had never seen before, which are basically doing arm submissions like armbars and kimuras but with your legs from side-control. Not sure what they’re called but they seem like they could be effective if I get good at controlling side-control.

Anyone got any handy tips to get better at reversals?

At long last

Had my first week back at training last week and it was amazing! I had really missed it.

Monday

We practiced sweeps to warm up then near and far-side head-arm chokes plus a variation where you bend their arm if they’re defending the choke.

So if you have the position for a head-arm choke from side-control but the guy defends by putting his hand behind his head to prevent you getting close enough to finish the choke, you can try to put your head on the mat and against his head, then grab that defending forearm and drag it around your head.
It hurts and they should tap before you rip it.

Tuesday

We did wrestling and as always it gassed me out and killed my legs pretty quickly! We were mostly doing double-legs this time (which is when you grab both of their legs to take them down), so it started out after the warmup with pairing up into groups of 4 and each taking turns taking the other 3 down.
Then we split off into pairs and took eachother down but this time it was a competition to see how many we could get in a minute. We seemed to average about 12 per minute, while the winners got about 25 once I think. So we did that 4 times in a row which was difficult but fun!
We also did it slowly in order to practice technique.
I’ve started doing squats and other things to increase my wrestling stamina so I hope that works because on my way home I was basically waddling back since my legs were so spent!

Wednesday

This jiu jitsu session was awesome because my friend Brad came along.
He’s been wanting to do jiu jitsu for a while but the place he tried where he lives (FightShop in Palmerston North) was disappointing. So on his day off he came up here to hang out and try out GSW, the BJJ club I go to.
We did an interesting exercise in this session which is to do one single move at a time, so you do one then your partner does one. It’s really cool and you end up in some weird positions (a bit like Twister sometimes) but it works your brain a lot. It makes you realise which move is the most urgent in a series of moves – which one you should be doing first in order to allow the rest to follow.
Brad really enjoyed it and he got to meet some of the people at the club – who are all awesome. I felt a bit sorry for him doing that on his first night since he didn’t know what he was supposed to be aiming for, but afterwards in the second hour I taught him some basic things (being very careful to keep it broad since I’m not good yet either) and he learned pretty quickly.
He’s considering moving closer sometime soon in which case he would start training BJJ too which would be EPIC! We seem to be fairly evenly matched in terms of strength so he would make a great training partner.

On Thursday I had a bunch of little injuries from the last 3 days so I thought it best to skip it and recover instead. My shoulder was jacked up so bad I had to get my girlfriend to help me put my shirt on in the morning haha. It’s Sunday now and it’s sore but I can move it around so I’ll be good to go again on Monday.

It’s great to be back to training!

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