Last night (Tues 28th June) was my last training session at Gracie Barra Plymouth before I head to Miami, and then move to London.
I've been there since September 2010 and have progressed from a 3 tab white belt, to blue belt during my time there. It takes a lot being a girl and just walking into a new club, but the guys were really welcoming right from my first training session (despite being one of very few girls to have ever trained at the club) and made me feel like part of the team. They're a skilled bunch of guys and I've loved every minute of training with them.
My Jiu Jitsu has progressed a lot since I've been at GB Plymouth. I've always relied on my strength when sparing against other girls. Going from a club where I had 3/4 girls to regularly train with, to a club that was 100% guys (and strong guys) has forced me to modify my game.
Tom's "small person" style of Jiu Jitsu is fast, strong (in the right way) and immensely technical. I've learned to truly appreciate technique over strength whilst training here. I have felt the benefits in the 3 competitions I have fought in this year. My cardio is better, my technique is better, and I'm using my strength more efficiently- for fast explosive movements, and maintaining strong positions rather than just being a biffing shebeast. It's been invaluable training under Tom and I've truly appreciated all his advice and help when coaching.
I wish them all the best in future comps and will see them all at ADCC to cheer on our coach Tom Barlow as he got a wildcard entry to the event!
P.S 2 days till Miami..