Monday, October 27, 2014

Putting in the hours

I'm doing well keeping my class time consistent, that's probably the biggest single factor I need to concentrate on.

Chris was running a bit late this morning, so I grabbed a white belt and we did some relaxed rolling to warm up. Once Chris arrived we jumped right to Knee on Belly flow drills.

Pass to side control, block the hip and pop to KoB, hook the far arm and walk it up, go to mount, partner shrimps, you go to tech mount, they push your leg over the head, you breakdance to side control, they turtle and roll through back to guard, repeat.

We did 5 minutes apiece on that drill, then went to KoB techniques.

Thumb in grip under the back of the head, pop up to KoB, palm up grip on the collar, knee slide down on the bicep and step around for the baseball bat choke.

Second one was KoB gets blocked, so you reach back to the hip, use your body to push the knee down, step unto the pocket, free your hand and walk their arm up while driving the knee over to take mount, then trap the arm and complete the straight armlock.

We worked each of those for 5 minutes, then started conditioning.

Final countdown of shoot under, leap frog, pushups, sitouts, squat jumps starting at 10. I was pretty much done by the end of that, but we immediately started rolling.

My first partner was a white belt who was also a beastly wrestler. He wasn't even tired, so I was in 100% defense mode and still got subbed like three times. I just had no energy for the guy.

Second roll was with another purple belt who is stylistically similar to me, so we had a lot more fun. He eventually D'arced me, but it was a much more flowing roll than the first one.

I'm having a VERY hard time maintaining an assertive roll while I'm that tired, hopefully adding in tues/thurs weight lifting will help further improve my conditioning and by the time Dec 6th rolls around I'll be in good shape.

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.