No Gi in Bali

One of the great things about being here in Canggu, Bali for an extended period is i’m able to consistently make it to a few classes that only run once, or a few times a week at Bali MMA.

There’s currently more Gi classes on the timetable than there is No Gi so i’ve been trying to get to most of them.

Between the morning surfs and the evening… beer pong (not every night) I’m focusing my training around what I prefer to roll, which is no go (Sorry Helio). I’m hopping in to the Gi only to keep my grips sharp and when I feel like sweating even more than usual.

“Just because i’m doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu doesn’t mean we can’t do stand up work. I don’t like the idea of resigning myself to just ‘Not Having Wrestling'”

One class I always look to make it to though is the Tuesday Wrestling class. Hailing from the UK where we have no wrestling in schools growing up, a lot of people find jiu jitsu as their first grappling sport. I’m sure i’m not alone as a Brit in feeling when coming to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (or even Judo or in looking to take up MMA), starting from square one on the grappling front.

This is a hole i’ve often looked to fill, I don’t like the idea of resigning myself to just ‘Not Having Wrestling’. In my home gym, we focus on takedowns a lot. Putting the time in to drill and start from standing. Plus my game has always been quite top heavy, often only working sweeps from the bottom in order to get back on top. If I can start on top by hitting a good takedown then half my work is done.

Having the chance to learn from some strong New York born wrestlers once a week is an opportunity too good to pass up. This is one of the hardest classes, if not THE hardest, available as most of Bali MMA’s fight team attends. The focus is on drills from standing to take the opponent to the ground, followed by some wrestling focused sparring.

Hitting rep after rep on a takedown is a lot more draining than working reps on something on the ground. I’m wiped out when it comes to the rolls, but it’s important to always go all out on a wrestling shot. In the standup game the difference between hitting a takedown and having it stuffed is usually in two things: 1. How well you set it up (or if you did at all) and then in 2. How much you commit to it.

Pushing through while tired and looking to take people down is some incredible training and something that you should definitely take advantage of if you come from a gym where you don’t work your stand up as much as you could…

Current skill focus:
Switching side / base switching pass.
Arm triangle from Mount.
Rear naked choke.

Currently working well:
Butterfly sweep.
Shin on shin elevation.

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Balinese New Year, Nyepi and the Ogha Ogha

Balinese new year means two things. Ogha Ogha and silence. The celebrations here take the form of firstly (over the weeks leading up to the day) building huge demons out of paper mache, these are called Ogha Ogha and each area has it’s own one. On the day before their new year, they parade these mache monsters down the streets before arriving at a meeting point to show them off with each village performing their own dance.

It’s pretty amazing to watch, and although Canggu has it’s own Ogha Ogha, I got the local knowledge and was told they’re bigger and better over at a place called Mungoo.

A post shared by Richard Moody (@rich.roams) on

A post shared by Richard Moody (@rich.roams) on

So, myself, a small scooter squad, and a few Bintangs took the shortcuts through the rice paddies to ride over to Mungoo. There’s something awesome about riding to a new spot in Bali, the scenery is always beautiful, and scooters handle like a dream.

Upon finding the parade we almost became part of it. We wanted to see all the Ogha Ogha before they arrived at the meeting point so we rode up some side streets. Unfortunately the parade was coming in fast from the other direction. We about faced and quickly. I’ve never been chased by a parade of monsters before but it’s more trouble than it sounds.

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