BJJ @ Alliance HQ –
Getting there – We took the bus ($3.5R each way) in the morning to arrive for the 7 AM class. Leaving the hostel was rather dodgy as we walked down a street the hostel staff didn’t recommend; nothing really happened though apart from a dodgy looking guy coming out of the bushes with a stick. Luckily Alliance was only a 10 minute walk from the bus stop we arrived at for Crossfit Templo (where Ailie was training that morning).
Neighbourhood – Neighbourhood seemed quite nice around the gyms, there was even a morning fresh food market right outside of Crossfit Templo.
Costs – Class cost $75R for one day worth of classes (although only attended the one class). Unfortunately to train you need to buy an Alliance branded Keiko gi (about $300R), luckily for the morning class, as the front desk lady wasn’t there, the instructor let me on anyway. Supposedly they had some to rent but they didn’t seem very helpful about it and didn’t have any in my size. While the gi isn’t overly expensive, I wouldn’t be able to fit another in my bag and felt a bit like an extortionate money grab making you buy a gi to train. This meant I unfortunately couldn’t go back to the night class and train with Fabio Gurgel as I’d hoped to.
School – The school itself was nice, with two mat areas (upstairs and downstairs) and a gym area with a variety of equipment. Pretty easy to spot the school from the street, big green side wall with the Alliance logo on it.
Class – Class was taken very seriously, with very had rolling. Most people seemed to have a basic level of English which was helpful. In the class were 2 black belts, 1 brown belt, 2 purples and 2-3 blues.
Warmup – Intense 15 minute warmup, started with the usual running forwards/backwards/sideways (both sides). Followed by bear crawls, reverse bear crawls (belly up), alligator walks, back breakfalls to technical standup, forward rolls, backward rolls, shoulder throws, hip toss, single legs, shrimping and some stuff I don’t remember.
Technique – About 45 minutes to work on techniques, two techniques covered:
– Back take / S-mount from turtle; showed the back take from turtle similar to the way Ryan Hall does (one arm pulls on hip, near arm pushes on armpit, your foot blocks theirs). Used a double lapel grip in this case. Showed after they go down to the side, can attack with the armbar (stepping into side mount) or can pass the lapel through to the opposite hand and go for the lapel half nelson.
– Same technique but if they don’t go to the side or if they bridge out after and return to turtle, slide your near leg in between their elbow and knee (bumping elbow out with your knee) throw the far leg over into the back take. Straighten legs out pushing your legs at their knee level to flatten them out.
Rolling – 15-20 minutes of rolling at the end of class. Had quite a hard time with the two four tip purple belts…as you can tell by my photo with the instructor after class.
Judo @ Associação de Judô Shoorikan e Andrade –
Getting there – It is possible to take two trains from where we were located however we woke up late and decided to catch a taxi. Taxi cost $30R each way (moreso due to traffic than the actual distance … Sao Paulo is horrendous).
Neighbourhood – Neighbourhood seemed somewhat dodgy around the gym, however it’s just off Paulista Ave (or a connection to Paulista Ave) so the main street seemed relatively OK and well lit.
Costs – Class cost $20R for the lesson, although I think the first lesson may have been free. They seemed not to want to charge us but since the class was good we wanted to pay.
School – The school was at the back of a gym, with enough mat space for 3-4 pairs during randori. The mats were amazingly soft. Most of the students had at least a basic level of English.
Class – Class seemed a lot more relaxed than at Alliance, there were about 5-6 black belts, 2 browns, 1 green, and 1 orange.
Warmup – 15 minute warmup, the usual running, followed by break falls and some uchikomi (around 50 reps)
Technique – Unfortunately (probably because it was a Friday night) we didn’t do any techniques, only randori.
Randori – 45 minutes of ne-waza, unfortunately continually paired with the black belts, followed by an hour of stand-up randori. Managed to hold my own for the most part (apart from getting told off for my illegal grips/grip breaks etc.) although got dominated by the two brown belts.
(Unfortunately by the time I took the photo 3/4 of the class had gone to get changed, including the instructor).