Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review - 2015

Just like everyone else on the planet I begin to reflect on the last 365 days of my existence as the year comes to a close. This year was fairly momentous for me in several ways. I was unable to train for the entire first 6 months of the year except for a few random Saturday classes, then I bought a new house and moved which is itself pretty awesome. After that I was able to start training again but at an entirely different school. And finally, for the first time ever, I went to a tournament and won every match. It was only 3 matches, but for me that's still a pretty good deal. I'm going to try to carry that success into 2015 with a nice list of goals for the new year.

1. Compete 6 times.
2. Lift weights 3 times a week or more.
3. Train 3 times a week or more.
4. Brown Belt

That's a pretty hefty list of goals for me, and there are some subgoals that will go with that 4th one, like finding out what the Brown Belt criteria is for my new gym/association, but I have the time this year to dedicate to my training in a way that I haven't been able to since just before I got my purple belt.

Hopefully everyone had a great 2014, and will have an even better 2015. I certainly plan to!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Strong Like Bull!

So I won't be back training until after Christmas, but I am able to get to my regular gym finally and I've started lifting weights again on a 30 week program. I went last night and did 30 minutes on the dreadmill (not a typo, I hate that thing) doing interval sprints between 3mph an d 6.5mph, finishing off with a 7mph leg.

After that I hit the weights for 4x10 with 45lbs on Squats/Bench/Upright Row. Those are the only three lifts I'm doing and I'm going to be adding 5 lbs each week, going 4x a week for the first month, then it starts bumping up on the first set of 10 for the next month, then it starts a staggered program.

Long story short, at the end of 30 weeks the goal is to be doing 3 sets of 1 rep with 200lbs on each lift.  Realistically with plateaus and whatnot this is probably a 50 week program, but I'm happy with that too. If I can stay on track for the first 15 weeks I'll actually be back up to a place where I can bench my bodyweight for multiple reps again, which is kind of my minimum strength requirement.

Not being able to do that right now really bothers me.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Newbreed 12-6-2014 Tournament Report

Slept well last night and woke up about 9:30am, Chris arrived a little after 10am to pick me up and we made it to the venue by 10:45 and the rules meeting was still going.

I weighed in, 146.5 with my jeans on, and made my self comfortable. I took a nap from about 11:30 to about 1:30 and then got called up to the weigh in area again because my division was empty. I told them to put me wherever, I'd roll with anyone, and then I went and changed clothes in case they got my division going early.

They called me up a couple more times to make sure I was ok with whatever division I had going and I ended up with 3 divisions. Adult Gi Purple Belt 149 and under, Masters Gi Purple Belt 149 and under, and Masters No-Gi Advanced, 149 and under. So I actually ended up with all of my opponents being in my weight class which is a rare event.

I only had 1 opponent in each division though, and my opponent for both Masters divisions was the same guy.

We started out in No-gi and I wanted to generate a takedown, but he kept his posture low and had stronger head control, so I opted to pull guard thinking that I could maybe hunt some leg locks. My guard pull was SUPER SLOPPY and I ended up battling against d'arce chokes from halfguard for a while. We went back and forth with him hunting the d'arce and me trying for a sweep, until I finally rolled him over and got on top, popped out of the choke, and hit the same knee cut pass that has been the bane of my existence at the gym the last few months. I cut right to mount and collected my points and rode out the last 50 seconds.

Second match, Gi, same guy. This time I was able to get a sleeve and a collar, so his bent over posture let me hit the Tomoe Nage immediately. I tried to come up into the armbar, but he caught my leg and started inverting trying to berimbolo me. I stuffed the berimbolo and ended up in his guard and up 2 points. He had really strong head control again and was able to maintain his closed guard for a while until he opened it to shoot for an armbar, I tried to pop out and he still had enough head control to get a triangle locked up, but I felt it happening and was able to bring my hand back in and lock it up to defend the triangle.

I then spent the next 3:30 just stopping him from finishing the triangle on me and then won 2-0. My opponent seemed fairly annoyed by the results, which I guess I understand since I spent the majority of both matches fighting off his submission attempts and then won on points, but Jiu-jitsu has always been about defense and survival first to me, and submissions as an afterthought. I was better at defense than he was at offense, then my passing was better than his pass defense. Today I was the better competitor and I feel pretty good about it.

My third match was Adult Gi, and it was against a 16 year old kid named Duncan. I gripped up, got my collar and sleeve and went for the Tomoe Nage, but he had some serious agility and managed to land on his feet THREE times when I had him all the way up and going over. Since I couldn't make the Tomoe stick I pulled guard with grips. He picked me up trying to break my guard, but I held it until he over-committed trying to break it and I was able to hit a backsweep to mount.

From there I worked for an Americana, he pulled his elbow in, but left me the grip, so I was able to transition to the armbar and finish.

He was really game though, and I wish I had been a purple belt at 16. He's been training since he was like 5 years old and I imagine will sit at purple belt for a few years while he develops and end up being a monster.

This is the first tournament I've been to where I haven't lost a match, and also the first one in a LONG time where everyone I faced was actually in my weight class for real. I feel great about my performance and I'm going to be redoubling my efforts at weight training as well as working hard to make 3+ classes per week.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Toes... Ouch

Trained Wednesday as my last class before Newbreed. The break from my car accident hasn't hurt me quite as much as I expected it to, so I'm still feeling decent about it.

Class was more work from the back, this time working the clock choke if the back take is blocked, then if they bring the hand in to defend the clock choke the step over rolling bow and arrow. 

I actually have videos from an Ian McPherson seminar for both of those techniques so I'm not going to describe them in detail here. 

After that we played some bear crawl soccer and crab soccer for cardio and I managed to smash two of my toes up really good kicking another guy in the foot. So that sucks, but I don't expect it to be a factor on Saturday. 

I just need to keep myself focused and work my gameplan.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Training for Newbreed

So, despite my car accident I am still competing this Saturday.

With that in mind I went into class today focusing on grip control and being assertive.

Normal warmup, then some takedown work. I drilled tomoe nage for 4 minutes and it felt really smooth from a variety of setups even against resistance. I practiced my followup a lot to make sure I don't run into the same problem I had last time where I hit the tomoe then can't capitalize on it.

After that technique of the day was sprawl, then take the back, shoot for the collar, bring the knee in and roll to back control, then attack with the collar choke from the back, or the arm triangle, or the ezekiel, depending on how your opponent defends.

We drilled that for a while, then did cardio. Cardio was 10-9-8...1 of sprawls, then firemans carry your partner down the mat and back. I made it through that without dying and then got to roll.

Three rolls, first with a blue belt who is one of our MMA guys, who at the moment just hates the gi. I continued to contribute to his hatred by being very assertive with my grips, then when he stood to try to break my guard I monkey flipped him and took mount. Rode that for a while and eventually ended up in 50/50, worked nearside sleeve control and hit the armbar.

Second roll was with a purple belt who is about my level of athleticism, slightly bigger, and has a few stripes. I hit him with a teleport pass vs combat base and transitioned to mount. Worked for the kimura but it was on my weak side so I lost it. Eventually he also stood up and I monkey flipped him, took mount, and was able to get the kimura on my strong side and finish it.

Third roll was with Chris and I flat out can't do anything with him except stall his passing for a while. I need to work on getting under him better to take control of his hips. His base is just insane and I can't disrupt it as easily as I can the other guys. And when he stands up he always picks me up with him. I probably should have dropped and tried to shoot the double on him, but I didn't have it in my head until after class, so I missed the opportunity.

Still, I felt as good as I've ever felt, so we'll see how Newbreed goes.