Monday, August 18, 2008

I want my baby back ribs...

Yeah, I want to go to Chili's and have some ribs. They sound delicious right about... now.

Last night I stopped by BJJSeattle. Rodrigo is really cool and allowed me to workout in his randori session that night. I missed the beginning class earlier, so this was basically an open mat session with different objectives. The last part of the night was just purely open mat.

The newaza practice was practicing from the closed guard, half guard, and side control position, to try to get the dominant position for a submission. I still need to work on my guard sweeps. I did manage a few. My guard defense and offense is severely lacking. BJJ practitioners practice the guard a lot. Judo is about making instant progress towards a pin or a sub, so if you have a high probability attack in judo on the ground y0u take it. Also most pins/subs in judo are set up after a throw, so transition is important. Again, my current guard defense is basically a stalling maneuver, enough to get a matte call to get stood back up. I can do a hizagatame, sankaku or a sweep if my opponent leaves himself open for that. Otherwise my bag of tricks on the ground is fairly limited; especially in the guard whether in offense or defense. The thing is, once I do pass the guard into side control or north/south, I'm fairly proficient in locking down the pin. That I can do and maneuver so the bottom can't shrimp/post/bridge his way out. Now what I need to work on is transitioning from the pin to pin and pin to submission.

Now BJJ, the objectives are a bit different. You spend a lot more time on the ground. During the whole hour and a half was all newaza. It was an eye opener, and I felt great being able to practice more newaza with a lot different people. The cool thing about Rodrigo is that he kept the practice moving and the objectives in focus. Once the guard was passed, it was reset. It's cool, as it keeps it from going stale and flailing around on the mat doesn't increase your experience nor knowledge.

Closed Guard - Defense: I need to control the hips/hands/arms. Watch out for people who gets their shoulders underneath your legs. This allows them to roll you. I was trying to do a sankaku to trap one arm and get my legs around the neck for a triangle choke, the thing was, I didn't have control of the trapped arm.

Closed Guard - Offense: I have to be careful about posting my arm towards my opponent. Or grabbing around the waist, it's easy to become trapped and get into an omo plata. I'm more careful now about armlocks. I still need to work on my guard passes. So far, I only can really execute two guard passes. 1. Knee in butt. 2. Legs on shoulders and roll.

Half Guard - Defense. I need to work on this. From here, I should do sweeps.

Half Guard - Offense. I'm getting better at this. Since I can do ude-garami from the halfguard, going on an attack for ude garami gives me that distraction needed for me to pass to a mount or side control. Usually, I can get from half guard to side control. And from side control, I can get to my favorite pin, North South or Kami Shiho.

Side Control - Offense. I was trying to go from side control to a juji, but I still need more control. I also tried to go from yoko shiho (side control) to an ude-garami which would be easier, again I just need more control. My pin was tight, however, but I still need to get a submission. I guess in BJJ the pin is part of the transition to the objective and not one of the primary objectives as in Judo. I accidentally tore my uke's gi, as I grabbed on tight to the gi skirt for the hold down.

Side Control - Defense. This was an exhausting exercise. It was a good exercise to get yourself out of the pin. It's tough. I was shrimping/bridging/rolling. I still need to just work on it.

At the end there was a purely open mat session. It was fun. At the end of the night, I sparred with a 6'2", 260lbs, solid, ex-college wrestler. Let's just say, this was the first time, in my martial arts training that I was squished. He was the windshield and I was the bug. At 205 lbs and 5'7" I'm not a svelte guy. However, I was truly overwhelmed. His takedown to kesa was just powerful. My ribs still hurt this morning. And when I rolled over in my sleep, last night, my ribs just plain hurt! After breakfast, I'm going to grab some more motrin.

Oh and the bruise of the night is: Left shin area bruise. This one is a nice shiner. I think I got this when someone was trying to do a guard pass or something like that.

Conclusion: I need to work on my conditioning. I need to work on my strength. I then need to work on my techniques. Windshield Guy just proved to me that strength on strength doesn't quite work. Even though I'm strong, there's always someone out there bigger and stronger than me. I have to use my strength and technique together. You need both, without strength, you can't execute a good controlled technique; and brute strength doesn't get you anywhere with a knowledgeable opponent. Windshield guy gave me some more pointers on the initial clinch from the ground. Coming from a college wrestling background, windshield guy's game is really from the initial clinch to take down. I did pick up some pointers, namely keeping myself compact and using my stocky build to my advantage. I just need to work on it some more.

Now for some comic relief. Somebody forwarded this to me. It's on you tube. I think people who practice bjj/judo/jujutsu/wrestling will find this funny.

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