On Saturday morning I visited Robson Moura BJJ. This was another gym I’d planned on from the beginning. The first instructional dvd I ever saw was his “Fusion” series (in which he wore one of my favorite gi’s that happens to be impossible to find) and I’ve been a fan of his ever since.
So I went in to train and the first person I meet is Robson. He shook my hand and talked to me for a minute before handing me off to his secretary to sign a waiver and pay.
The turnout was good for a Saturday, three black belts total, four other browns, and whites, blues and purples adding up to about thirty people.
Robson led us through somewhat difficult warmups involving lots of running, shots and sprawls.
We drilled quick guard pull-to lumberjack seep-to knee cut pass sequence, then Robson lined out six guys on the mat and had the rest of us rotate in against them from a line on the wall- just like at START BJJ.
The rule was you came in and tried to pass and if you did, took over the spot on the mat and people rotated in to pass your guard.
I passed a purple belt to start, then swept four people in a row with with single leg/deep half scrambles. Then Robson rotated in against me and put on a collar choke when I sat up to go for his leg. I had to lay on my back to defend the choke which gave him the pass. He let me stay in, so I went through a few more guys, finding a lot of success by getting to my knees, then wrestling to the top. I even swept a black belt.
(My style can fail badly but it can also surprise and confuse people.)
I started trying RDLR and some spider guard. I lasted for two people before I gave up a pass.
I rotated back in and met up with Robson again. As I tried to pass, he used the same choke as before to dump me over and sweep.
We switched to regular 5 minute rounds to finish up. I went first with a guy wearing a pink belt. Apparently if you forget your belt here, you have to use the pink one, which was some kind of cancer awareness item.
It was a fun round where I got the better of the scrambles and got one choke.
I went with two purple belts next and did well against them, although I couldn’t submit.
Then I went with a blue belt who just a little bigger than me. I watched as he set up the worm guard, clueless of what he was going to do with it. We spent a few minutes with him tilting me around and me just doing my best to stay upright.
For a moment, and I don’t know how, I unwrapped the position and ended up in half guard but he went right back to the worm and had me stuck again.
I rolled with a white belt next, then a brown belt. I tried RDLR on him, which was probly a poor choice. He passed it easily and went to mount. I was fatiguing by now and didn’t think I had it in me to force an escape. I defended chokes from mount, the back, mount again, the back again, for most of the round. With about ten seconds left I ended up getting half guard. He must have scored more than 20 points on me, but I was happy that I didn’t get tapped out.
I finished two more rounds with a blue and a purple, then everyone started to filter out.
I got a chance to ask Robson about the choke he used and he was kind enough to show me how it worked.
I also got to say hello to Bob Plaszcz, who I met up in Minnesota.
It felt good to have some success after struggling on Thursday.
There’s definitely a grappling style I succeed in and one that throws me off. Gotta work on the second one.
It’s hard to write about the shorter rounds and rotating partner formats. They’re more fun to participate in, but tough to recount later.
Tampa seems nice enough. The weather has cooled off and gas is cheap. But the water, although clear, smells like sulphur. It tastes fine, it just smells funny. Maybe it’s extra sanitized or something.
I’ve been invited to an open mat in south Tampa tomorrow and I want to visit Rob Khan’s gym too, but I’m worried about the cash flow.
I’m thinking I might only stop in Mobile and New Orleans, then head to ATX to regroup. The sooner I work, the sooner I can go back out on the road. Might as well get it over with.