I showed up at Babalu’s Iron Gym for one of their open mats a little over a week before the Metamoris 3 event in which he’s scheduled to fight Dean Lister, and I was lucky enough to have had the chance to roll with him again.
Compared to before, he’s really trimmed down. When I last trained with him he had retired from MMA for a couple of months already and looked like he put on some weight. This time he was trim and looked like he was in fantastic shape.
While training with him, this difference wasn’t that apparent because he was just destroying me in every possible way… just like before. He’s an expert with the De La Riva guard, and once his hooks were in place, it felt as if I was caught in the jaws of a crocodile. I couldn’t move and he had his way with me… like a puppeteer and his puppet.
It’s a really strange feeling to have as a grown ass adult… But this is what happens when your opponent is heavier, stronger, taller, longer limbed, and 100x more skillful than you.
Despite my being manhandled, it was a lot of fun to train with someone who is essentially in peak physical and mental condition in the days leading up to a fight (the internets currently think that Dean Lister will win handily… I’m just looking forward to an entertaining fight).
Babalu was very friendly and approachable… and very humble. He’s always welcomed me into his gym whenever I’m in town. I also really love the fact that he actively trains with his students. There are a lot of BJJ schools out there in which the black belt who’s name is plastered all over the walls, rarely show up… and when they do appear they don’t train with their students… which is a shame.
I also had a chance to roll with a few of the other students in the gym and had a blast. Unfortunately I think father time struck again since I now have a pretty sore shoulder that I was hoping was just delayed onset muscle sorenes… but am now suspecting may be a deltoid muscle strain… which would mean I’d have to stop training again AND take it easy with the Stronglifts 5×5.