I realize that I've been a little neglectful of posting, so this is probably going to be rather long while I try to catch up a bit.
My post tournament review of my performance showed me one enormous weakness in my game. My halfguard is terrible. It hasn't really changed since the first year I was training. As a whitebelt, against other whitebelts, I had a dangerous halfguard using the lockdown and whip-up to hit the oldschool sweep or pop out to dogfight and work from there. It hasn't evolved at ALL since then and the lockdown gets crushed at higher levels and especially in the absolute divisions with huge guys. It works well enough to stall for a minute or so, but I'm unable to work any sweeps from it anymore and reguarding against that kind of pressure from the lockdown is problematic.
Enter Caio Terra. Arguable (Not really, who the hell is going to argue against this?) the king of halfguard. The guy weighs about 140lbs and has tromped through some very high level blackbelts in the absolute divisions using halfguard as his primary weapon. So I picked up his DVD and I've watched the first 20 minutes of it. 10 times. It's incredibly detail heavy and full of material, so it's going to take me most of this year to absorb it I think.
I started working halfguard last night, pulling halfguard, allowing people to pass to halfguard, sweeping myself to the bottom of halfguard for them, etc... and working on establishing a knee shield and stretching my upper body away from my opponent. I had a bad habit of curling into them for no good reason and letting people get grips on my upper body. That must stop so I'm emphasizing keeping distance in half guard and establishing the knee shield right now. Where I go from there is a project for the weeks to come, but I did try a few things that worked decently well including establishing X-guard, reguarding, popping out to try to attack the back, trying to setup reverse scissor sweeps, and executing a technical stand with the cross collar grip to try to set up my loop choke. I'll continue to work on and refine those options over the next few months and hopefully by USG Charlotte in May my halfguard will be a lot stronger.
In other news the gym is getting more and more signups in our new location, which is awesome. And our boy Brian Hutchings, who you may remember as the guy that won his blue belt a couple of months ago at the Fight For Your Belt tournament, is going to be fighting in the main event at the first ever Muay Thai show in Madison Square garden this weekend. We're all wishing him the best of luck and as long as he keeps his chin down and his hands up I think he can bring home a belt. He's seriously a beast.
My buddy Johnny is running a Marathon this sunday, which I think is flatout insane. I wouldn't run 26 yards without a good reason, much less 26 miles. But he's also a monster and loves to challenge himself in any way he can. He's a 2 time Tough Mudder, finishing in about 3 hours both times.
Speaking of Johnny, he's been teaching wrestling takedowns for us on Wednesdays, which is awesome since I need more takedown practice and I'm getting a lot more comfortable going for them out of the clinch and stuff. I'm hoping that by USG Charlotte I'll be comfortable enough to make shooting for takedowns my go-to instead of pulling guard.
My medals and rashguards from USG Greensboro are on the way and I plan on taking a super obnoxious picture wearing one of the rashguards and every medal I've ever won and then having it printed out and posted up in the gym on the wall.
AAAaand finally I'm starting a video project for the gym where I video the technique instruction portion of each class and I'm going to set up a members only area for the Megalodon people and post the videos there so that we can all reference them later.
And that gets us mostly updated.