Sunday, December 11, 2011

Training week, RGL coming...

I did not get to the gym this week (phone problems, don't ask, but I did train at home a little bit, doing bodyweight exorcizes and jumping jacks, and I got to ECU BJJ on Thursday.

This week our warm-ups were different. Instead of the usual rolls, sprawls, and other movements across the floor, we did hopscotch and what I call "bridge-and-tunnel." The we studied the arm-bar, a way to block it, and a way to counter the block, then we drilled, drilled, drilled. When we were done drilling, we had three rounds of sparring.

My first round was with another white belt, stronger and heavier than me, but will less experience. Though I was not able to submit him, I was able to try an execute several technical moves, including some interesting angles on which to apply a triangle.

In the next round I went up against a much more skilled and experienced fighter. He was able to deny every attempt at passing the guard and submit me a couple of times. At one point I stopped to examine method of passing guard by getting both arms under the opponent's legs. I had been getting caught in guillotines when I had tried that recently, and I learned a few new principles. It seems that it is trouble to leave your head in the guy's stomach when getting a group there. You have to either be buried between his legs, or sit up fast ti pull his legs up and get his hips close to yours.

The last round was with the strong, aggressive white belt I had trained with my first week back. After he got me in a quick guillotine, when we re-set, I was able to deny his speed and aggression by going to my back and getting him in guard. He was strong enough to keep me from executing any submissions at that point, but he never got past my guard in over 5 minutes.

After class, I asked the experienced grappler about the execution of a certain type of sweep from guard. It involves bringing your chest up, and I kept on getting stiff-armed in the chest. we figured out that what I need to do is get the stiff-arm hand blocked away from my chest for the duration of the move. There is a way to do that which involves using my arm to guide the opponent's arm out of the way as I sit up. We'll see how that works.

One of the instructor's said I was getting better, showing good technical work in the rolling today. That makes me feel good. I still feel I am lacking a lot of skill and some aggression, and I certainly have forgotten a lot over the couple of months I missed training this summer. I just hope I can pick it back up soon.

This weekend I have been invited to compete in the Renegade Grappling League tournament at an event in the Bronx. This is the same organization that gave me those epic, three-round matches that you can see on YouTube. We will see how I do this time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

SO I took a week off from working out, swordfighting, and bjj last week as a result of Thanksgiving schedules, though I did run twice, confirming that I have about 75% of the stamina I had about a year ago, when I started with ECUBJJ. This week, I worked out with G.A. West twice, with a new emphasis on cardio and less on weights. In addition to trying to up my endurance, I am also trying to drop about 5 pound to make 185 lbs since Peter Storm invited me to compete in the 185 lbs division of his Renegade Grappling League tournament on December 11 (will post details as soon as available). So in between sets of bodyweight exercises, I did jumping jacks. Jots of jumping jacks. A total of 1000 for the work out. My right calf, already sore from running, is still feeling it.

So I went to ECU last night. My across-the-floor warm up is beginning to pick up pace. My push-ups are deeper, and my sit-out drill is slowly creeping up in pace.

WE focused on a particular method of gaining the triangle choke from guard., involving swinging the leg like you do in part of standing up in base from a sit-out. This started feeling like the kind of jiu jitsu that is a step above "basic." To me, "basic" involves being pretty much rooted to the ground and doing things that are slow progressions. This particular move feels dynamic and "swoopy." It's actually kind of fun. We drilled the heck out of it, which is very good for me. I noticed that one par of the move, in which the hips are lifted to move the opponent's arm across his face, can flow organically out of the move where the legs are crossed behind his head. By the end of the drills, I felt very confident about the move, and like a more skilled fighter.

Then we rolled. I was first partnered with a fellow who had advanced from white to blue belt some months ago, and whom I had gotten into that "Tarzan" hold two weeks ago. He must have been very fatigues when I fought him then, because he showed be a degree of skill and energy that I had never seen from him before. He was aggressively moving all over and around me, while I felt pretty much rooted to the ground and lacking dynamism in my game. I was able to hold off a few submission attempts and even escape from a few dominant positions he gained on me, bus his techniques and energy were able to deny and escape anything I tried.

Next I fought the skilled, technical guy I had fought the previous class. He was pretty conservative in his game, which didn't matter too much because his strength and skill were greater than mine, but I did manage to escape a pretty tight rear naked choke from him and survive being under full mount and side mount. I tried the side-mount escape in the latest ECUBJJ YouTube video, but he was too strong for me.

Finally I fought a brand new guy, bigger, stronger, and younger than me, but had only started a few months ago. I was able to mount him twice, and he mounted me once, but I failed to gain any submissions.

Jojo is being very encouraging to me, talking to me about what it takes to advance and get better. I will be bringing my camera to some upcoming ECU seminars and new locations soon.

Here's that video of the escape from side mount I referred to...

I have got to figure out a way to get more training into my life.