Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Stripe? That's pretty cool!

So, for the first two years of my BJJ career I did only No-Gi, so no stripes, and no belts. Then when I trained with Alliance I didn't get any stripes. I went from white to blue, and blue to purple. But now that I am training at a Roberto Traven affiliate stripes are a thing, and today I got my first stripe.

I'm actually pretty psyched by it. It's a good signal that I've managed to return to my pre-layoff skill level and I'm now actually getting better at jiujitsu. This is a nice boost for me going towards the New Breed tournament in December.


Today was the same halfguard stuff from monday plus cardio via running back and forth, shooting under one partner, then jumping over them, then getting taken down and the partner doing the running and whatnot. Fun stuff for 5 minutes, then grueling for the next 5.

After that was work from halfguard, 5 minutes on the bottom, then 5 minutes on the top. I hit a couple of Caio sweeps, but I need to work more on forcing the arm to the inside in order to get the reverse scissor sweep and the back take to work, and generally mess with my opponents posture more. I'm too lenient about letting my opponent flatten me out and going for the Caio or setting up waiter sweeps and things.

On top my passing is light years better than it was even before my layoff. Having an instructor who is my size means all of the guard passing tips and techniques are better tailored to smaller people so I've been really able to tune my passing game.

After that I had time for one roll with a 3 or 4 stripe purple who's a bit bigger than I am and is also one of the MMA fighters. He has a solidly intense rolling style with a great mix of clever techniques and crushing pressure. A couple of months ago with I rolled with him I was able to accomplish exactly nothing, this time I was able to generate a sweep, a near sweep, a couple of close guard passes, and defend almost everything. I went down to an armbar that was setup with insanely good pressure, but I didn't feel as completely outclassed as I did last time.

So, getting the stripe felt great, and I'm going to be working even harder now since I still want to have a shot at my brown belt in the next 18 months.

Monday, October 20, 2014

This Weekend... Next Weekend... Whenever...

Once again updating here has fallen by the wayside a bit. Business with work, training, and owning 26 acres and a 150 year old farmhouse are eating up all of my time, but I'll try to do better since I need to keep some notes on my training.

Last week Chris tried to kill us all. We warmed up with armbars, triangles, and omoplatas, then spent 30 minutes doing some kind of Crossfit style masochism consisting of (for me) a 35lb bar and a pair of 10lb bumper plates, then 40 reps of back squats, front squats, strict overhead press, overhead push press, clean and press, and jerks.

By the end of this I wasn't sure what was going on and was pretty much as exhausted as I had ever been in my entire life. Then we rolled for a good 45 minutes. I spent the entire weekend barely able to move because of how sore and stiff I was, but it was awesome.

Went back today and we were decidedly lighter. Worked on some halfguard stuff.

First technique was a slick sweep against the wizzer that I love and want to work on more. You get your underhook from half guard. The opponent wizzers you and you circle your own hand back inside and trap their wrist, then you roll back and pendulum sweep. It's nice and flashy.

Second one was the standard reverse scissor-sweep, current gym calls it a Wing sweep. Also played around with the immediate backtake off of this one.

Third one was for when they block your knee from coming in for the wing sweep, you bring it up on top and pinch the shoulder and rotate to face the feet for the armbar.

Then our cardio for today was an exercise in guard based on some stuff that happened at the tournament over the weekend. Your opponent is in guard and stands up with you, you open your guard and immediately change levels for the double leg, then you stand up and pick your partner up and they do the same thing, back and forth for 5 minutes. Then you start in mount, your partner reguards, you stand up, they monkey flip you into mount, you reguard, they stand, you monkey flip them. Back and forth for 5 minutes.

Then we did some positional sparring from halfguard. I was able to get some decent technical halfguard going with a successful waiter sweep, a technical stand to single leg, a butterfly sweep, a couple of caio sweeps, finally got got tricked by the blue belt in our group and he caught me with the top half guard bow and arrow. When I came back in on top I immediately passed guard using the tricks I picked up a few weeks ago that have really altered my passing game against halfguard.

The focus on driving the elbow down to block the knee really changed how my passing works and upped my success rate. Ended up with a couple more passes in similar fashion, then had to shower and head out to work.

My conditioning is steadily improving and I feel like I'm rapidly returning to my previous technical level, which leads me to.... Competition Time!

I was going to head up to Virginia for the US Grappling Submission Only competition Dec 13th, BUT I couldn't find anyone who would give me a ride from the airport to the venue and back, SO there's a Newbreed tournament Dec 6th right in town that a bunch of guys from the current gym are going to, AND there's a Roberto Traven seminar on the 13th. So instead of paying for a plane ticket, I'm going to see if I can do the Newbreed comp and the seminar instead. It will be my first time competing under my new teams umbrella, so I'll be training pretty hard leading up to it.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Completely Forgot....

I didn't realize I hadn't been updating this...

I took a couple of weeks off to prepare our house for the winter, went back to the gym this week and I'm feeling good. Improvement is steady. I will update with more details this weekend.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I had something for this...

I had a relevant title for this post, but I forgot it, because.... reasons.

Anyways, good class this morning, more mount escape work. Rodeo drills, then cardio and rolling.

Getting to the point where I can reliably beat up on the blue belts again even when exhausted, but my sweep and pass completion needs a lot of work still. I'm not assertive enough when I'm completing them still. It's definitely better than it has been in the past, but not as good as it should be.

I'll be at the Atlanta Open at the end of this month as a spectator filming for people. Looking forward to that.

Oh. Almost forgot, my elbow that I tweaked a bit monday is fine. Barely any pain or stiffness.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Americanas are Serious Bizness!

Got in and did some drilling with one of the blue belts for 20 minutes, 5 on top and 5 on bottom each. Worked mostly grip controls and sweeps, just rebuilding some of my chains and reflexes. He's got a competition coming up so he worked a lot of passing stuff.

Technique was Mount escapes, standard knee and elbow to halfguard, and standard upa.

Drilled those for 20 minutes, then did rodeo drills for... a while. Felt like eternity.  Was probably 7 minute rounds.

Cardio was sprawls while partner sprinted the mats, partner does pushups and sprints back, then you sprint down, do pushups, and sprint back. Pushups were done countdown style, 10 on the first lap, 9, 8 ,7. and so on. It was brutal.

After that we rolled, and at this point it's mostly a blur. I do remember defending an americana a little too long because it was super sloppy and it felt like I was about to escape the entire time, and then he suddenly started doing it right and I felt my elbow pop once. So that's not good, but probably won't be too bad. In retrospect I should have tapped about 20 seconds earlier, but the dude doing the americana was a purple belt, and it was white belt sloppy, so I felt like I could defend and escape it. But the guys top pressure and control is 100% purple belt, so he was able to keep me there while he cranked on my arm, and then suddenly he shifted and finally brought my elbow down properly and the americana went from 'meh, whatever' to OMFG TAP. So that sucked.

I remember getting MAULED by the instructor in hilarious fashion. At one point I swear he was posting on just one hand and I still couldn't generate a sweep.

I rolled with a blue belt that I had talked to a while back about focusing his weight better when he was on top and he apparently took it to heart because this time whenever I had a frame or anything his weight was immediately 100% focused and just splattered me back flat. I finally eventually managed to hit x-guard, sweep, and pass and stay on top for about 15 seconds.

Might have been some other stuff that happened

Friday, August 15, 2014

Indian run? What's that?

So, today I learned a new method of torture called the Indian Run. But first, I worked with one of the other purple belts who is just getting back from a long layoff trying to rebuild his technique library. We worked on some spider guard sweeps and stuff for about 20 minutes, then technique for the day was Knee On Belly. Two armbars and an escape.

The two armbars were the standard nearside when they roll away, and the farside where they push on the knee but flair the elbow out.

The escape was one I have actually never seen before. Inside arm cups the opponents knee, outside arm supports the inside, hand over hand. Elbows in tight, you turn away from the opponent  while pushing hard with your frame, then shoulder roll to guard. Felt a bit awkward the first few times, but then I got the hang of it and it's pretty slick.

Now, back to those Indian Runs. I had never done these before, but as it turns out you form a line with everyone and start jogging, and the person at the back of the line SPRINTS to the front of the line, then you repeat. We did that for... A mile I guess? Something like that. Then we split into groups of 3 and one person carried the second person, while the third person motivated, when person one couldn't continue they became the motivator, the motivator became the carried guy, and the previous carried guy did the carrying. Trust me, it was super hard. We did this in full gi in the middle of the day.

Once we got back to the gym we did 4 rounds of rolling. I had a roll with the purple belt from earlier, a roll with a largeish white belt and a roll with a blue, then a break and a roll with the instructor. My Gi game is steadily rebuilding itself. I was able to sweep and work to the top a lot, even managed a legitimate guard pass on the instructor which I felt good about. Still a lot of work to do, but steady training should mean that I actually end the year better at jiujitsu than when I started, so that will be nice.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

No-Gi Work

Made it to the gym for some no-gi today and rolled with the same gigantic guy I rolled with last week. This time I had a bit more success and was able to use my hips better, keep better frames, and generally keep my structure aligned more productively which led to me being able to get to top position and his back a few times and control him.

I also was able to finish a chin strap choke off of the attempted back take and accidentally jaw crushed him while trying for a Von Flue choke.

He has grips like a vise and great top pressure, but he was making some mistakes that let me bypass his attributes some. He was also getting tunnel vision on his north/south chokes and passing up opportunities to attack my arms. I pointed a few of those out to him and he started mixing it up a little better which led to several solid armlock submissions for him, so that should help his overall game.

Good class, good work.