cool write up on SBGi_UK class

Here is a write up I found on another site regarding a person who dropped in the Manchester Gym run by Karl and Rosi. It's kinda cool.


We go into the SBG Manchester – it is in a sort of basement type thing. There are about fifteen or so guys there warming up in their own ways. I meet the head instructor Karl. He asks me about my experience with MA and lets me join the first class.

I go and change in the dressing room. My protective gear was only on my cup and mouth guard. Then I grab my water and a towel and head out to get my beat down on. We start by putting on the Vale Tudo gloves, then doing some basic warm-ups like jogging in a circle, reversing direction, circling your hand etc. Then we paired up and did some light clinch work with each other, tap-ping/hitting and light kneeing. That went two rounds, one of which I did with Sam, the other with someone I don't remember. So cool- now I am sweating ánd ready to get down to business.

Next we did some whizzer and whizzer counters. The one I was most familiar with was the body lock counter, but Karl also showed the RNC from the stand. This is important because getting the guy broken backwards is essential to get-ting him onto the ground and finishing. At this point, I saw what a good instruc-tor he was. Karl would demonstrate the technique two or three times in a way which made a lot of sense, but he didn't talk too much or over explain every-thing. I got the impression he told me just enough so that I could do it for my-self and see how it worked and that if I had questions, I could then come to him. At some point there was also an exercise of a sort of single arm lock/take down. I can't really remember the details (I will have to experiment on my training partners in Hamburg), but it seemed effective. At the beginning of working this technique, Karl came around and I told him, "I can't see how this would make someone go down, could you show me please?" He did so in an informative way, without sneering or talking down to me. Points for that.

One really cool thing I learned in this was a little trick while taking the guy down from the standing RNC. Imagine if the guy you are taking down tries to use the momentum to flip over and out on you . . . well, as long as you keep your legs under his legs, you can lift him and scoot him forward so that you can then go around and sink your hooks in as he is then in a better position for you having his back. Nice simple little move then worked quite well.

Next he showed us how to escape an RNC. This was good and I had never seen it before. The person getting choked first grabs the arm (with two hands) around his/her throat (two on one Karl called it) and then rolls AWAY (I kept screwing this part up) from the bicep of the person applying the hold. Once both people are on their side, the person in the choke jams their shoulder in TO-WARDS the person to create some space. The only thing you have to really be careful of is making sure to get a leg over to prevent the hooks from being sunk in.

Next up was an alive drill starting with both people sitting and one having the other's back. The goal was then for one person to submit the other, through lock or strike. This drill helped cement the aforementioned technique in my mind be-cause I was able to use it a couple of times to break Sam's RNC attempt. I must point out that Sam showed extremely good effort and a strong willingness to continue the drill. Keep up the good work Sam! After this, we did some sparring from the clinch to the ground. I did very well with a few of the guys; however two of them totally owned me. I was reminded that my clinch work sucked by being punched in the face once, firemanned, and gator rolled. This was quite an eye opener and I now see more of the holes in my game. The guys that did the Ownaged were named Cameron and Hal if I remember correctly. They could have been even more brutal, so thanks to them for being down to earth and showing me where I am weak . . .

Directly after this class was the beginner's intro class. I decided to do it because I never did any type of MT training before, other than a small smattering of throwing knees on the ground through Shooto. Our class stared with some shadow boxing- for me this was cool and no problem. Then the instructor (not Karl, but a qualified senior student) showed me the "crazy monkey" technique which was discussed a few threads back and explained to me that it was an entry point for the clinch. I worked on this with Sam for awhile and we also drilled MT clinch switching techniques. New stuff for me! After this, we did some basic ground work which was very familiar to me. i.e. trapping the arm from the guard, leg on hip, scoot out for the armbar. Still, the pace we did them at gave me the challenge I wanted- towards the end of the second hour I was sweating pretty heavily. That was pretty much the beginner's class. While most of it was basic, I still picked up some good info, extended my workout, and received an intro to the crazy monkey.

The last hour was the most hardest! This was the advanced/intermediate BBJ class. After getting permission from Karl, I quickly changed into my Gi and hit the mat . . .

As it turns out, Karl was our instructor again. Let me first point out that I con-sider myself a mid-level BJJ white belt. We had a mixture of blue and white belts in the class. Karl is a BJJ purple belt and we did a light rolling drill together to warm up. At one point, he so completely owned me that we both laughed when I tried to get his knee off my stomach. We switched partners and I did this with three or four others. After the warm-ups, we then worked on two techniques I had not seen before.

The first one was a straight choke from a snap down while both people are sit-ting. It was really sneaky and kinda neat. Both my training partner and I used various levels of resistance and it seemed to work well. The next technique de-fined the entire SBG experience for me. Karl showed an arm/shoulder lock from side control. It went something like this. Assume the side control is such that the person on top has their head on the left side of the person on bottom. The person on bottom is trying to clear the top person by pushing directly on their opponent's chest. Top person attacks the left arm of bottom person by coming around the elbow and securing the hold by grabbing onto their own Gi. The top person then circles to their left and finished generally in a north/south, depend-ing on how much the person on bottom can take.

Okay fine- this is the cool part. One of the blue belts found an easier way to do it, so Karl calls everyone over, has the blue belt do it, and then tries it out while taking instruction from the blue belt to get it to work effectively. After this, I realized the egos really were checked in at the door, exactly as advertised.

Next we spar. I had a lot of trouble keeping up at this point. My conditioning does indeed need work too! I had to stop three or four times for a bit of water, but I kept going as hard as I could. It was very nice to spar with some people outside my school. Now the going got tough- we did a "bull in the ring" type of drill where one person tries to hold guard for thirty seconds and then switches to a fresh person when the time is up. This was simply brutal and everyone was looking like I felt towards the end of it. Fortunately as the visitor, I never had to be the one in the middle. Lastly we made a standing circle and several members crawled along our shoulders, then did group circle pushups, of which I could not hold up my end and sat there like a fish, gasping for air.

To wrap everything up, we had a talk about some aspects of training, aliveness, street application, and teamwork. I don't remember all the details, but I re-member it making sense to me and leaving a good impression. I then sat around and bs-ed with some of the guys and talked briefly with Karl and said goodbye.

To round things up, I think if you live in Manchester, you would be crazy NOT to train here. The atmosphere is friendly (I detected no egos), the instruction top notch (Karl and the senior member had no problem getting down on the mat and showing me why and how something worked), and the alive training absolutely brutal (I couldn't think straight afterwards). The class schedule is great too- you have opportunities to train everyday, up to three hours a day.

(I went on a Wednesday)

Do yourself a favor and swing by if you are within 100 km of Manchester. It's well worth it. Once you train alive, you will never be fooled again!

Thanks to all of my training partners!


SBG Manchester rocks........

coming soon the high performance conditioning room and sports therapy centre.

lots of love


Forgive my ignorance, but what is RNC?

Sounds like an awesome environment! If I'm ever in Manchester, I'm totally there!

"One of the blue belts found an easier way to do it, so Karl calls everyone over, has the blue belt do it, and then tries it out while taking instruction from the blue belt to get it to work effectively."

Wow! Now THAT is what I love to hear! Very cool of you Karl! Keep up the great work!


RNC=Rear Naked Choke

Love training threads....

Ah... Gracias Aus!