As my girlfriend's family has an appartment in Costa Del Sol, we decided to head there for a week just in case it would be raining in Finland again this summer. The whole trip started wiith a bit of a hassle as I lost my passport the day before departure which. Luckily my lawyer girlfriend helped me and forced the police to give me a temporary passport in time. They use shame as a punishment here in Finland if you lose your passport and give you a temporary pink version :)
We've been to Costa Del Sol almost every year but this time something was different, because 2 Finns Jasse and Marek had decided to open a jiu jitsu academy named Gaijin in Fuengirola. This meant there was no escaping training this time. I had trained with Jasse before and I knew he had experience in catch wrestling from Wigan so my expectations were high. Also, other bloggers such as Kristian had made it there before me and had nothing but good things to say (Link to Kristian's article)
What was particularily great was that they had training available at 2 o'clock which is very optimal for people on holiday. I found the place quite easily and arrived some fifteen minutes before the class. Shortly after Jasse showed up and opened the doors for us. There was a group of Swedes also hanging about the academy from which a female brown belt decided to take a class with us, as other headed to the beach.
We did our warm up almost completely with balance balls. It included throwing the ball the wall and sprawling, mounting the ball and punching it, doing headstand backward and forward rolls over the ball and side control drills where you lie on the ball and replace your chest with your back. I really enjoyed this.
They always have themed weeks at Gaijin academy and this week's theme was guard. We started out with Marek's favourite sweep which was the push sweep or tripod sweep when you are holding the cross sleeve in open guard (foot on the hip, other foot on the back of the opponent's knee, cross sleeve and ankle). Marek emphasized pulling the ankle close to you which makes to opponent fall down much easier than simply pushing the hip with the foot. As you come up, you want to hold on to the ankle to prevent the opponent from coming up, but release the grip on the sleeve fairly quickly so he can't sweep you back with the same grip.
The push/tripod is countered by changing the angle (facing your opponent less), which opens an opportunity for a back take by switching to DLR hook and putting both hooks behind his knees from behind him. Then you just grab the belt and launch him on his butt to take the seat belt. This was our second technique which works as a combo with the first one.
Great looking murals in the academy and bamboo walls
I heard that they do vale tudo style warmups and self defense techniques in the beginning of the class so that the self defense aspect is trained as well. This is something I usually enjoy these days as my focus is shifting slightly away from the sport aspect on competing. They have selected techniques from Helio Gracie's self defence curriculum and Relson Gracie's book as a reference.
Did two 2 o-clock sessions during my stay, one nogi and one gi. Really recommend the place for anyone visiting the area (or living there)
Visit Gaijin's website here