Just got back from Tampa yesterday (Oct 13th) from visiting my dad. It was a great trip both on a personal family level and for my Jiu Jitsu. I had never visited my dad so I felt it was about time, even if it was just for 5 days. It did the relationship some good and I got to know my Step Mom better and met my step siblings for the first time.
Before getting out there Jeff was able to set up the opportunity for me to train with Dr Rhadi Ferguson at Tampa Judo. It was about 30 minutes from my dad’s, who was nice enough to take me to both classes. Rhadi has a Masters in Education and is an Olympic level Jodoka, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, and has dabbled a bit in MMA.
Knowing all this I was a little nervous going in, I’ve never trained outside of my home school and really had no idea what to expect about training. Going in I knew that my first class would potentially be a private lesson as some of his students were out of town. As much as I wanted to test myself against other guys I was more than happy to take advantage of having a one on one with a black belt.
Rhadi had me warm up then we sparred. He said he wanted to see what my game was like then suggest some things based on what he saw. In the end he suggested a Spider Guard combination for me that I really liked. He showed me a basic sweep to Triangle to Omoplata sequence. I never even bothered to consider using the triangle with my short little legs, but he showed me a way to finish without having to lock it up in the traditional sense.
Finishing out the day we repped the sequence and decided to call it a day. He complimented me on my overall technique and critiqued some of the things I don’t do very well. It felt good to have my dad finally see me in action and know that I’m getting pretty good at it.
The following day it was a three stripe blue belt and myself. This time we went through a series of warm ups, some of which I wouldn’t mind adding to the kids program. We jogged, skipped, low crawled, hopped through a rope ladder laid across the floor, and butterfly lifts with partner. Main class consisted of reps. Slow well intentioned reps. He wanted us to own and understand every moment of our series by keeping things tight and minimizing holes for opponents to escape through.
We sparred and I was able to hold my own against the other blue belt; passing his guard towards the end of the round. Most of the sparring is pretty playful, ripping each others heads off isn’t part of the schools philosophy. We shook hands and I thought we were done so I asked to take a picture with them. I was mistaken, Rhadi walked over to grab his phone and was looking for a song to finish class with. I was told to just listen to Sally and go up and down when she tells you to. Umm.. ok.[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL-l4bZCkAw” title=”Bring%20Sally%20Up”]
We did this one song through, then started the song over and did squats. I highly suggest adding it to your workout and don’t cheat! The training was hard but I was extremely thankful for the competition training Jeff puts us through. I was able to come to Rhadi’s and hold my own instead of falling behind and making myself look bad.
Overall it was a great experience working at Tampa Judo, it will to be a place I come back to whenever I’m in Tampa. Great environment and great instructor.