I've been slacking on this blog since I started work on www.techemperor.com. We went to NAGA again and Johnny moved up to the Intermediate division, he took 3rd, finally got beat by someone. Guy was essentially Johnny in another year. Hugely strong, big wrestling background, way more BJJ experience. So that gave him some stuff to work on. He finally got a job, so once he gets settled in there we're gonna see if his schedule will work to get him up to HCG somehow. Ronnie was in a HUGE novice division and took 3rd, got beat on points by a guy who was gigantic. But he wonhis other 3 matches all by sub. So we were happy. I got kneebarred in the first round of my division by the guy who took 1st.
My shoulder is 100% better now and I've managed to get to class twice a week for the last few weeks and I think I'll be able to keep it up. I'm still screwing around with different workout things. I've started running again (which I hate) and started getting back to my lifting. My roommate moves out in 2 months and I'll have a weightroom with a decent bench and everything. That might help with my lifting progress.
On the BJJ front we just wrapped up a month of 10th Planet style Half-Guard work using the lockdown. I was pretty comfortable with this since one of the first things I got when I started BJJ was Eddie's Jiujitsu Unleased book, and then the Mastering the Rubber Guard book. So I was pretty familiar with the idea behind all of this stuff anyways. I still have two big problems working in halfguard, the first is when I'm just not strong enough to get the whip up and end up just trying to worm my way down and make something work. The second is when I go for the Old School and immediately get Darce'd. I know why it happens, I just need to practice it more. If I can make it up to dogfight I do just fine though.
I've started playing Z-Guard all the time because I got tired of having my knees gouged by peoples elbows. I really just have two sweeps from there and know nothing else right now. Been looking for videos or books or something to get an idea of what other options I have . More and more frequently I find myself getting guys like Ralph and Patrick into places where if I had the strength I could sub them, either I need to find ways to get my whole body involved without exhausting myself or I just need to get stronger. Probably some of both.
I've been nailing the basic hipbump sweep all over the place and have managed to hit a couple of armbars from mount, but only on guys who are less experienced than I am.
I need to figure to figure out a way to stop Patrick from escaping my triangles by stepping over my face and falling down. I get stuck stretched out and can't bring any pressure to bear on him.
My guard passing has gotten better, mostly by virtue of me baiting armbars/triangles and then slipping out of them. Dangerous, but easier than fighting against people trying to crush me with their legs.
The better my techinque gets, the smoother my transitions get, and the more often I end up with superior position on people the more frustrated I get with my inability to finish people. I just need to be stronger.