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Have you ever seen a strong man competition? Why would a strong man want to learn Gracie Jiu Jitsu? Well, on Friday, I partnered up in the fundamental class with a Ukrainian strong man, well; that was what it felt like. I estimated he was over 275 lbs and thin, 6-5, a miss match of more than 100 pounds.   He had wrestled in Russia and had some judo experience.  During the review, he did a hip throw where I felt like I was being launched to the ceiling.  After that review,  I was trying to do a bear hug from the front but he put me in a guillotine choke.  I didn’t explain what I was doing very well.  Because of the grip, I knew I was too late for defense 1 so I went to guillotine defense 2.  Fail.  I couldn’t get my fingers in between his forearms.  I started tapping.  Then we moved on to another series of moves, he practiced passing the guard but not any move I had seen. I had him in the guard.  He slightly lifted me and chopped my thighs, stacked me, then chest to chest.  With more than 275 lbs on my chest, I was firmly glued to the floor.  Right then and there, I knew he had wrestling experience.  He did a side mount, to a full mount, and into a stealth arm bar, gg gitani.  I was impressed for someone so large how well he executed the moves.   From there, he wanted to work on Kimuras from the side mount.  That was when he started messing with me. It reminded me when I was in high school where the coach would make the heavy weight wrestlers practice with the light weights.  The heavy weight wrestlers loved to torture the light weights.  He did a Kimura but pretended he couldn’t feel my tapping or hear me. I thought my arm was going to snap so I started shouting right in front of the instructors as they laughed. He stopped but I was fully panicked.  Review ended and we moved onto the lesson plan.

We learned a few moves.  A two finger and thumb collar choke from behind.  My choke hand wasn’t a problem but bring his arm behind his head to rest my back hand on his neck was a problem.  It wouldn’t have been easy.  It was better for my free hand to grab the other side of the gi.  If you don’t, the opponent could turn into you while doing the choke and get free on top of you.   Also, we learned a standing foot lock.  He had trouble getting his biceps around the leg over the foot; however, his grab of the leg didn’t matter because I believe he could break someones leg without having the proper technique.

Over all, it was a good experience.

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