Wednesday, 6 May 2009

South Africa Day 5

Day 5, Durban, 3:00am

Yes, 3:00am!! Needed to be up early to set off on the long drive to Joburg, unable to get a flight in time for the seminar which was an important one so had to drive or rather Morne had to drive, I needed to try to sleep.

Being the seasoned traveller Haueter was asleep almost as soon as we left; the guy can sleep anywhere. He awoke just in time to see the most awesome African sunrise which kind of rejuvenates you as we pulled into the services for breakfast and his coffee fix. (Anyone who has ever been anywhere with Chris knows how important the 'proper' coffee is).

Being bright daylight from 6:30am onwards getting back to sleep was not an option so spent the rest of the journey taking in the countryside as we passed it by reinforcing what a truly beautiful country it is. Finally we hit Joburg about 10:00am and got to see the other side.

We got to temporary home and as the security gate rolled back I got the first glimpse of what Paradise must be like. The property was amazing; tennis courts, swimming pool, mini nature reserve and more, this was going to be an awesome few days.

After a more than generous traditional South African breakfast, Morne and Chris decided to catch up on their sleep whilst I went for a wander round, deciding that a swim would be the better option for waking me up as we were due to teach a big seminar at 1:00pm. I got warning from the locals that the pool temperature may be less than 20 degrees C therefore much too cold to go in. They can't believe that their average winter day is as good as our best summer day. So I am quite happily swimming around with everyone giving me the same look that British tourists get everywhere they go in the world that has weather better than ours, the disbelieving 'it's not even warm' look.

Afternoon approached so we headed to Oakdene to the Box Office Gym for another outrageously warm training session. Morne has sponsorship from Bad Boy to film the seminar and have it aired on national TV so this would be an important seminar to see if we ever get invited back ;0)

Chris started off the seminar with some clinch work, starting right back at the pummelling basics then building up to single and double leg takedowns followed by attacking the quarter position when they managed to sprawl.

He then disappeared to his usual Hollywood lifestyle of doing interviews and photo shoots while I got to take over the seminar. Starting off with taking the back then progressing to establishing correct over/under back control and eventually how to finish the RNC, we moved onto the arm bar from back control. I was guessing that not many of guys had trained that before because there was then a kind of feverish drilling associated with trying something new.

Finally I showed my favourite 3 ways to break the grip of someone defending having their arm locked out from the arm bar position, I like this bit as there is always pain involved with #3 – the biceps crush.

Haueter returned from his celebrity duties to complete the technical part of the seminar with further options of attacking the back. As always with Chris I picked up new details that I hadn't seen before, his approach is not always a 'typical' game and can be quite unorthodox but effective. When he is attacking your back he was constantly trying to kill my base so no movement was really possible; most other guys teach you to make space, get the hooks and go from there. Chris seems to give you so much pressure you almost put yourself in a bad position by being steered into the direction he wants you to go, all without realising it. You know to defend hooks so as you are spending your time doing that you are twisted and turned without mercy, knowing he can still get hooks any time he wants. Not a great description but you have to feel it to fully know what I mean.

The rolling part concluded the seminar as always and, as mentioned before, it is always gratifying to see people trying to implement in sparring techniques you had just taught that day rather than just going back to the ego fueled win at all costs, try nothing new mentality.

A brilliant session today even if I do say so myself, a room full of happy people and I thought I was starting to get used to the heat (man, would I be proved wrong tomorrow)

Now for food and what better way to finish off a great day than with the South African version of our humble barbeque called a "braai". The braai is central to the Afrikaans culture, being an abbreviation of the Afrikaans word "braaivleis" literally meaning meat grill.

After consuming my own body weight in delicious food, an early night was in order so retired back to our "rondavel" a circular building based on the traditional African hut complete with a thatched roof although to be honest I was so tired I would have risked the mosquito attacks and slept on the grass if I had to.

Awesome day all round!!

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