Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Newbreed Tournament Writeup and Videos

I drove out to the venue to weigh-in Friday night and got there about 10 minutes before weigh-ins closed. I made weight comfortably at 137.8lbs and everyone I talked to there was very nice and professional. I got a good impression right from the beginning.

I verified that my division was schedule to start at 4:30, but that I should be there around 2 just in case things were ahead of schedule. Keeping that in mind I arrived at the venue at about 1:50 and got changed. Almost right at 2 I got paged to the weigh-in area to find out that I had no one in my division. So, they medaled me out in the 139.9 and rolled me up to compete in a division with a couple of 149.9 guys and a 159.9 guy.

I had about 30 more minutes of waiting and then got called down to the ring to start our division at about 2:45.

My first match was one of the 149.9 guys who looked like he cut rather a lot to hit that weight as well. I kept grip fighting standing looking for my takedown until he pulled guard. I immediately went to pass and he turtled and managed to get a pants leg grip and stop me from securing back control and transition to side. He never passed guard, so no points for anyone. At the time I had no idea how close I came to catching his collar and seeing it in the video drives me nuts. I was an inch away from winning via collar choke with that grip. He got greedy and tried to step to mount and I caught halfguard. I ended up having to bait the kimura in order to get enough space to curl up into him, and as I'm trying to sweep he secures a guillotine and it became obvious that he was preposterously strong. I fought it out while continuing to try to get on top as long as I could, eventually I had to tap.

Second match was against the other 149.9 guy. This time I was able to get my grips immediately and hit a perfect Tomoe Nage, then slid right into a triangle choke while working to pass. I defended the choke, and escaped it and caught an inverted triangle, but I couldn't secure his far arm and I could never force enough movement to get on top. I feel like I could have done better managing this position and possibly won this match had I been thinking clearly, but I rarely end up here in the gym and I don't have a good path built up around the position. He eventually worked free and was able to take S-mount and secure the armbar.

For the third match they were actually looking for someone to volunteer to compete against a ~190lb guy who ended up with no opponent. I was done with my division by then and I'm used to competing in absolute divisions, so I said I would give it a go. I went for my tomoe nage, but he ended up being a hair too tall for me to get control of his hips, so I ended up pulling guard. He shook me free and ended up in my halfguard. I fought of an arm triangle and a darce and he eventually passed my guard. Time ran out with me still fighting against the d'arce and looking for an opportunity to sweep, so I lost by 3. So, I got a silver medal for not being a wuss.

Overall, I was both happy with my performance and extremely disappointed. I was more assertive in my rolls, but I continue to run into brickwalls against people who are my general skill level but far more athletic than I am. I've decided I have no choice but to hit the weights again if I'm going to find success in competition. So starting monday I'll be back to Stronglifts 5x5 and I probably won't be competing again until spring of 2014 at which time I think I will venture back to a NAGA event in the hopes of finding people in my own weightclass to test myself against.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tournament Time! Newbreed Ultimate Challenge Atlanta

So for the first time in over a year I cut weight for a tournament. Two weeks ago I weighed in at 149lbs, tonight I tipped the scales at 137.5 for successful cut with room to spare. I then found the nearest smoothie vendor and knocked back their largest raspberry, banana, and orange juice smoothie before returning home to eat a delicious steak. I'm feeling great now. Strong, full of energy. I'm going to get a full night of sleep too since my division doesn't start until 4ish and we are guaranteed that it won't start earlier than 2, so I can leave the house at 11:30ish and make it in plenty of time.

That means full sleep, breakfast, the whole nine yards. I won't be going into a tournament hungry, or worried about anything expect competing. I'll be competing in my proper weightclass and I feel like I'm right at the peak of my current improvement cycle.

So now it's time to see if Operation Be More Assertive translates into results on the tournament mats.

I will have a full report with videos up Tuesday.

Friday, July 5, 2013

This is not the guard pass I am looking for....

We actually managed to put together a pretty good class for July 3rd with 9 or 10 people showing up to train. I spent about 45 minutes teaching super basic judo stuff, fit-ins, foot placement, how to load someone before the throw and then how to complete the throw without trying to muscle it. Just partner drilling back and forth a bunch to get those basics down.

Then we rolled for over an hour. Great stuff. I was assertive in every aspect of my game and was on top of things in general.

Had three rolls apiece with Wyatt and Kris, which is always good training. The final roll of the night with Kris I went into specifically trying to think about ways to pass his guard without getting swept which resulted in him throwing on a triangle in the first 30 seconds or so as I tried to dig for a double under pass and he popped the arm free.

I threw on the defense, burrowed down, and drove my elbow through and out to secure the pass and take side control. That is NOT what I meant when I decided I needed to look for different guard passes. I definitely don't want to do that again since I doubt I'll get away with it against him a second time.

I did hit one of my favorite stealth tech submissions on him though, attempt overhead or butterfly sweep, then when your opponent posts you slap on an armtriangle, then hit the half butterfly sweep to mount and finish.

It was a good night, and I feel it. Sore everywhere.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guard Passing Plateau and Hulk Smash

A solid OBMA class last Friday. I forced several sweeps through serious wrestler resistance and was consistently assertive with my submissions. I also worked the Leg Lasso sweep I posted about a few days ago.

One thing that I'm a bit ambivalent about is a roll with one of our larger white belts who is very strong and explosive. I swept him to mount and was working on setting up a choke and he attempted to full on fling me off of him and sit up via pure hulk strength. This annoyed me, so I ended up smashing him back down in return. There wasn't a lot of technique involved, I just smashed him back down onto the mats while he was trying to sit up. I don't know if this counts as me being assertive, or if it was spazzy. It's definitely a difference in my behavior compared to a month ago.

Rolled with Kris again at the end of class and this time he just had way too much energy for me. I got mauled and armbarred. I'm going to have to figure out something about my energy levels going forward, but I'm not sure what.

Still, good training.

But my rolls with Kris are bringing to the front an issue with my jiujitsu. My guard passing has gotten stagnant. I have one pass that I fight for, and if it fails I generally just sit in guard defending sweeps now. I need to kick myself out of that rut and go back to the active movement passing game that I started developing a couple of months ago. That's my next OBMA inflection point I think, a return to active passing.