Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Post Christmas sessions

Managed to sneak in a session today between Christmas and New Years. Did some jits-with-hits for the first time in YEARS to help one of the girls we have who is training to fight MMA. She's a former gymnast who is about my same size, and she is a good deal stronger than I am. I've worked with her on her KoB pressure for the last couple of weeks and she's gotten to where my ribs make disturbing noises when she gets there.

Today we worked on moving while defending, never getting yourself bogged down while defending strikes, and then we worked on how to use strikes to set up your guard pass and then your submissions, and how to punish peoples escape attempts with strikes. She's a quick study and by the time she fights her weaknesses aren't going to be on the ground.

We also had the enormously strong purple belt from a couple of weeks ago back. This guy is definitely a love/hate kind of training partner. It's great training with him because I have to be 100% perfect and give NOTHING away, or he can just destroy me. If he gets even CLOSE to a kimura grip, I'm going to get kimuraed. If my weight gets even slightly off base, I'm getting swept. It makes me work hard to be perfect on offense and defense. Which is also why I hate it. It's good training. His weakness so far is that he is obsessed with shooting for toe holds without locking down my knee or hip, I'm determined to get his toe holds sharpened up enough that he can tap me with them, but he's got a long way to go on those.

We rolled for about an hour and a half all told and I got in some good work.

I won't be back in the gym until next week because of the holidays though.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Three in one Week!

For the first time in over a year I managed to make three classes in one week. The official class on Monday, then a couple of open mat sessions Tues and Thurs for a total of 6 hours of training this week. I feel surprisingly good physically. Not at all as beat up as I expected.

My third day everything felt amazing too. I just felt like my mind and body were better connected, more coordinated than in a long time. I felt like I could see a lot further ahead in each roll.

I'm hoping to make this a permanent change going forward, training at 3 days each week to help push myself over the hump towards my next skill plateau.

I might even be able to start filming some reference videos and things again soon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Got into the gym for early morning class and it's No-Gi December this time around. We worked some posture drills that Chris picked up from the BJJ Globetrotters camp he went to last week and then some solid no-gi pressure passing.

Did some closed guard positional sparring that was fun. We had an enormous dude with some level of training that I think was just checking the place out for today, I hope he decides to stick around. He was a lot of fun.

Working to pass his guard was like tiptoeing through a minefield, because the slightest positional error would be enough for him to bulldoze you over, and he wasn't just 'some big dude' he had clearly trained some wrestling and some submission grappling of some kind, it was just difficult to tell how much because his size and strength assisted his techniques a lot. So he could have been anywhere from a 1 year white belt to a brown belt just taking it easy and it would have been hard to know.

I'm leaning towards bluish belt somewhere though, since when we were rolling he chim passed me like it was his dayjob, but couldn't stop me recomposing guard, and a bit later I caught him in a wristlock that he actually tapped to, which surprised me, I had fully expected to have to use the wristlock attempt to try to get to his back, but I manage to trap his arm just right.

It mostly just felt great to be training.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Book Review: The Combat Codes

This will be one of the random non-training related posts that occasionally pop up on the blog here. The reason that this one is popping up is because of a book called The Combat Codes. The author contacted me via /r/BJJ and asked if I would give it a read and offer some feedback on the fight scenes as well as the book over all since in addition to BJJ I'm also a voracious consumer of Sci-Fi/Fantasy literature.

He was kind enough to send me a copy of the book to read and I started it on monday at around 1 in the afternoon. I finished it around 6:30pm. I read the thing cover to cover, nonstop. Now, that's not necessarily a ringing endorsement since I'm a determined reader and I have slogged through some truly horrible trash novels because I refuse to be defeated by some lackwit's barely decipherable prose. Such was not the case on this occasion. The Combat Codes is actually a brilliant story told in a world where MMA style combat has taken the place of war. Each nation maintains a stable of fighters who represent them in territorial disputes with each other, as well as an academy to train up those fighters.

This is the story of a former fighter and his new protege and it has a distinctly Ender's Game vibe to it which should be taken as the compliment it is meant as. The pacing is flawless, the characters evoke rich emotion without being cliched, and the fight scenes are well written and walk that fine line between realistic and entertaining. My only problem was that by the end of the book I found myself annoyed that I couldn't immediately read the sequel.

If you enjoy reading SciFi/Fantasy and are also a fan of MMA/BJJ this is a brilliant read. If you know someone who fits that description then this would be a perfect Christmas present. I'm currently eagerly awaiting the sequel.