Klaus Burton


The journey of an MMA noob, week four

This week we had BJJ on Monday and Wednesday as always, then we had wrestling on Tuesday and no-gi BJJ on Thursday.


Wrestling on a Tuesday, brutal!
I paired up with a really nice guy called George who has been training for a while, I always like training with the more experienced guys. He’s a very helpful partner and it makes all the difference to be training with someone like that, not that I have met anyone there who isn’t like that so far anyway.

We do some wrestling warmups in lines on the mats, just dropping down for a double-leg takedown while the partner backs up. After just that I was exhausted, like I said before wrestling is hard and intense. I love it because I know if I keep doing it my fitness is just gonna skyrocket.

Next we get into drills and today we learn how to get takedowns from just having one of the other guy’s arms, then counters and then counters to counters, and one of the members who is a black belt in Judo even showed us how to modify one of them to use a Judo hip-toss which was fun and useful.
I find wrestling really hard, partly because it’s very different to anything I’ve done before and partly because of my considerable lack of fitness, so I was really happy to hear the instructor give me what I think is a massive compliment, saying it looked like I’ve done one of the moves for years. I was absolutely beaming from that especially because I thought I was probably doing badly.

After drills we put our new knowledge to the test on our partners.
I gas out pretty quickly, there is a huge difference between drilling a move and actually going for it.
You can do 10 reps in a row in practice without breaking a sweat but then just doing it one time for real is exhausting! I do alright, he gets me down a few times and vice versa.

Then we do the same but against the whole class. This time I don’t get anyone down but I do notice the other people’s techniques when they got me down so I hope to learn from them. One of the guys got a very low double-leg and I just fell right over, I can’t wait until I’m able to do that.

The big thankyou gift!

Next we get a surprise, we’ve got a big thankyou gift to Koji, the Judo black belt who also organised our end of year get-together last weekend.
The wonderful gift is that we all get into a circle around him and each attack him for 1 minute. I’m amazed at how well he did, my hat’s off to him because he kept going through everyone, some people more than once, with only one 1-minute break in the middle.
When it was my turn to get him I started out well, which wasn’t hard because he was already on his back (yeah it was ultra unfair but that’s the point of the circle), I got knee on belly then a slight half-guard, he wasn’t doing much and I thought I’d better do something so I stepped over into mount and immediately realised he had been baiting me with the mount so he could use my motion to sweep me, which he did thanks to my poor technique.
He gets up and punches me in the face a couple of times which hurt, I close the distance to go for a takedown but after only 2 wrestling classes I’m still ultra bad at takedowns, so he easily turns it to his advantage and then our time’s up.


This was the last BJJ session for the year and it’s the hardest I’ve been to so far. My cardio was just shot throughout it, but I also learned some really valuable techniques, including a sweep that I was able to put to use successfully later on.
To start with we did a lot more warmups than usual, then we drilled sweeps, armbars from the top and bottom, hip-outs and more. The pace was pretty full-on and I was partnered up with a cardio machine so I was definitely getting a good workout!
Then we put what we drilled to the test against random opponents, starting in guard the person on top had to pass and the person on bottom had to sweep. It was fun and I had a bit (not much, but a bit, which is more than usual) of success with this which made me happy since it means I’m progressing.

During this sparring I landed funny on my elbow which made my shoulder jolt upwards and it got damaged so I had to stop. It was pretty painful and couldn’t move my arm for a little while, I just stood on the side until the pain went away. The guy who I was against came over after a bit and I told him what had happened, he said the same thing has happened to him a couple of times.
He said it’s when the AC joint jolts and damages itself or something and that he had taken 2-3 weeks off to let it heal.

After training we hang out and have pizza, generously provided by our resident Santa. Cool to chat with some of the other members before heading off.
Since I’m writing this about 2 weeks after that happened I can say my shoulder feels better than it did, it still hurts in some positions but I’m sure it will be all good by next week when training starts again.