Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 27th Gi - Coke withdrawal

 I decided to quit drinking pop.  At work a can of Coke is only 25 cents.  I've been feeling pretty tired at work the past two days and the urge to break down and get a Coke has been massive.

Before class Ken worked with me on the foot sweep.  I'll have to practice it more but he really helped with the kazushi part of it. 

Greg was our teacher last night and put on a pretty good class.  It was a pretty large class with a couple of new people which was nice to see. Our main focus was side mount escapes and after some exhausting animal walking we did a tripod drill.  The remainder of the class we spent with partners doing side control escapes one of them using the tripod.

We then did a drill where our partner would give us one or the other escape and we had to decided which one to take.  And finally the partner on top gave full resistance from sidemount.

Because of the good feedback Greg received from the 4 position drill we did on Sunday, he decided to have us do it last night as well.  It wasn't any easier, especially when I also did this same drill in my Hapkido class that morning.  Ken was my partner for this drill and we both worked pretty hard.  He really impressed me with his bucking and escape ability.  I guess I just have to work harder.

This was the first time I questioned whether I wanted to do open mat.  But, of course I did.  I rolled with Blain or Brian I can't remember his name but he's a tall white belt.  He's only been there for 6 months but he was still able to kick my butt.  He got me in an armbar and then the second time he let me submit him in an armbar.

After that I got a headache.  I'm not sure if it was from lack of caffeine or being dehydrated or what, I kind of had neck pains too.  It didn't matter I still rolled with Ken.  We had a pretty good roll.  There was one point when I kind of gave up because he got me in a bad position.  Ken wouldn't accept that and he had me work my way out of it, however I couldn't hear him give me advice because his legs were around my head.

I've got to find some kind of supplement for after class.  I'm very drained, achy, and a little loopy.  Let me know if anyone has any suggestions for recovery after class.  I usually do a Gatorade and banana and water.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 26th No-Gi

Pretty small class yesterday with me being the least experienced.  Greg taught and Ray, Adam, and Aaron were also in attendance.  We warmed up with some shrimping up and down the floor. We did a couple of mount escapes that I have worked on before and got some pointers on.

We went through a drill of one person surviving from 4 different bad positions for 2 minutes each: Mount, Back, Side, and Turtle.  The bottom person was supposed to improve position and the person on top was trying to submit.  I started off on bottom with Aaron as my partner.  I had a hard time with mount as usually people can neutralize my legs by putting their feet under them or grapevining.  Back mount wasn't as much of a problem for me mostly because we started from sitting and there is no pressure on my chest from that position, I pretty much have to guard my neck.  Side Mount is my least favorite position.  It seems like I regularly become immobilized and all of the bucking and shrimping I do just tires me out.  Turtle wasn't as bad as the others, maybe 50% I'd end up in guard.

We cycled partners and I watched Greg do the top positions on Aaron and it was very cool to observe.  It's amazing to see him work.  After that I worked with Aaron again on Side mount and mount while Greg took on Ray and Adam.

I rolled with Aaron a little bit which was pretty good.  I haven't rolled without a gi for a while and I was able to move quite a bit more.  We had several scrambles and I was able to slip out of a couple of submissions.  In the end he got me in an figure 4 armbar from side mount.  I hadn't worked with Aaron before since he's been injured for a while.  Hopefully he'll be around more often now.

While Ray and Greg were working on stuff I asked Adam if he would show me some wrestling.  We worked on an armdrag, double leg and single leg.  The single leg stuff was pretty cool as there were 3 or 4 transitions that you could go to (at least that he showed me).  Adam was a little surprised that I was interested.  Personally I'd rather end up in the top position if I can and I think learning a little bit of wrestling can only help.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fuji, I love you man

Thursday class started with Ray going over some throw drills with us.  First with a partner we went up and down the floor getting them on our back and then throwing.  I worked with Fuji again.  After that we got into 2 groups of 4 with myself, Patrick, Fuji, and Matt (new guy) in the big guy group.  One guy was to be in the middle and then throw the other guys as they came at them.  It was pretty fun.  I did a wrist throw as one of my throws which I think surprised everyone.  Just trying to keep it interesting.

Greg showed up to teach the middle portion of this three part class.  We worked on some half guard stuff.  It was a progression like usual from keeping on your side to taking the back or going deep and grabbing their ankle to a reversal.  I worked with Matt on these techniques, he seemed to pick things up pretty quickly for it being his second day.  Then we finished with 3 minute partner drills to try to improve from half guard.  I had no success with Fuji on top of me. 

Sensei Beggs did his Judo thing at the end of class.  We didn't actually do any throwing this time but did the entry first using the bands, then belts.  Finally we got into groups of three and one person did a seat belt grab behind the other person. The third person would then try to throw both people.  Pretty tough.

I rolled with Patrick at the end of class.  For some reason he likes to roll with me, probably because he wins.  I was able to roll him over from side control once out of the blue that I thought was cool.  He eventually submitted me though.  I also rolled with Tyler who I hadn't rolled with before.  We went twice and both times he got me with wicked armbars from the guard.  I couldn't figure out how he set them up so well but I'm intrigued.

So, Fuji flipped me some crap about his feelings being hurt from reading my last post.  I'm pretty sure he was joking but it made me think about how honest I should be on this blog.  I know there are quite a few people that I work out with that read this.  For now it's probably fine since everyone is beating me.  However, how excited should I be when I finally reach my goal and submit David or Ken and make them cry?  I don't want to gloat or make anyone feel bad even though I'm going to be stoked about these types of milestones that will hopefully happen.  Oh well no sense in worrying about it now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm Crushed

Horrible weather on the way to class last night.  I was hoping it wasn't bad enough that class would be cancelled.  Class seemed to go by rather quickly.  Greg taught and the focus of class was on guard passes mostly using a grip on the gi and the pants or sleeve.  This was a technique that I hadn't worked on before.

I was partners with Fuji pretty much the whole time.  We were having a little trouble due to the size disparity but we made it work.  I couldn't get my legs all the way around him and it was pretty easy for both of us to pass.  While I like to work with Fuji as he has some good pointers and can make the exercises more challenging, I'm not sure if I got the most out of this class.  It seems kind of silly but I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings or sound like I'm complaining by asking to switch partners.

Before open mat we did some 3 minute live drills of trying to pass guard or submit/sweep from guard.  Ken passed me several times when I was on bottom.  Then I was in Brian's guard and I couldn't get his long legs apart (very frustrating).  I think he got me in a triangle in the end.

For open mat I rolled with Ken.  At one point I had him in the halfguard lockdown pretty good but couldn't get low enough to do the sweep that I wanted.  He eventually mounted me and crushed the life out of me.  The muscles under my ribs started to hurt making it hard to breath.  I eventually got out of mount and into side control and kept trying to shrimp.  He got me in some kind of americana variation.  After we were done, I was having a really hard time catching my breath as my muscles under my ribs were really tense.  After a little while I was okay though.

I then rolled with David.  I don't remember the details too well except he mounted me too.  I didn't get the side pain again though.  Eventually he put me into a triangle from mount and rolled over to get it from guard.  I'm getting better at keeping my posture from here instead of trying to stack the triangle like I have been.

Friday, June 17, 2011

June 16th Class

Conan taught class yesterday but couldn't do much because of some injuries that he had.  He looked like he had some arm pain throughout class.  The focus on class was takedowns.  We started with a lot of falling and rolling.  We worked on double leg and sprawling and sitouts.  I worked with Fuji for most of it, which while he is a lot bigger than me is good to work with because I have to have the technique right to get him down.  He also gave me some good pointers on the takedowns.

Sensei Beggs came in and taught some throws again.  Still having trouble remembering the Japanese names.  We did kind of a reap that spread the opponents legs apart and then force them down.  From there if they didn't go down we trip on the other side or do O Soto Gari.

I rolled with Brad who got me in a triangle.  I definitely underestimated him.  It was good to roll with someone that doesn't keep me on the bottom the whole time like the other guys or he isn't just playing opossum until I make a mistake.

After that I rolled with Aaron who was Gi-less.  He kept cheating and grabbing my gi but it was understandable. The handles are there grab them.  Eventually he got me in an armbar.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I am a white belt

Conan taught class last night.  We had a pretty good warmup of rolling, shrimping, jumping, falling, tripodding, and more. 

The theme was a guard sweep that started with holding the opponent's own arm around their neck.  We did a sweep, a choke, a neck crank, another sweep, and then took their back.  I can't wait to work on this more.

For open mat I started by rolling with Conan.  I felt like I was doing better than usual as I was implementing some of the things we've been working on.  I did some guard passes and I pushed his head to his hip side but eventually he got the best of me.  I don't even recall what the submission was, I think a choke.

I worked with Greg next (blackbelt from california).  He worked me in spider guard and x-guard which I have little experience with.  When I roll with him and Conan I feel like I can't do anything right.  They have perfect timing and use little strength and energy.

I also rolled with Carlos, who I hadn't rolled with before.  I outweigh him quite a bit which helped me I think.  He was hard to keep down though and we went back and forth with guard passes.  Conan had us all stop and switch partners before either of us got the better of the other.  I then rolled with David.  I did a little better against him but eventually he crushed me and submitted me a couple of times.  After we bowed out I rolled with Ken with the usual results.  We started standing up and I realized that I need to be a little more aggressive instead of reactive, the person that attacks usually has some type of advantage.

There is no getting around it.  I realized last night that I am a white belt and this is going to be a long road to greatness.  Obviously I have been wearing a white belt, but before I started I felt I may have enough experience to quickly learn a few things and be at blue belt level in no time.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  Yes my experience has and will help but the real thing I've been missing is the mat time with this level of experienced people.  I've just got to keep working hard and strive for the awesomeness to happen.

Friday, June 10, 2011

June 10 Gi class

It turned out to be a rather large class yesterday taught by Conan.  Our focus was on preventing guard passes by pushing on the head and keeping the head and hips on the same side and then try to shrimp back to guard.  This is something that is really going to help me.  I'm always getting passed by my partner wrapping up my legs and moving into side control.  We also worked on headstands from there to assist the passer.

Sensei Beggs showed up toward the end of class and taught us some Judo techniques.  I guess he's going to be coming in often to do that.  We worked on O Soto Gari off of making them step back and then another throw where you sit in front of them but I can't remember the name.

After class I rolled with Patrick first.  I was on top for a little while but he got me in a kimura and was able to roll me off of side control.  I'll have to learn how he did that or at least how to defend it.  From then on I was on the defensive and he eventually submitted me in an Americana.

I also rolled with Dave the tree trunk guy.  We didn't get to finish but I was able to execute one of the butterfly sweeps I learned on Monday.  It's always cool to do something you just learned on a resisting opponent.

I signed up for the Cornhusker State Games.  The Jiu-Jitsu tournament will be held July 24th.  I'll be preparing for that in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Random Videos

Here are a couple of videos I've found interesting.

Some great Animal Walking drills:

Grappling Ball Drills:

Chess Drill:

48 Judo Techniques:

Just for fun:

Day 6

My days of temporary bachelorhood are winding down.  My wife and boys should be returning tomorrow (Wednesday).  While it's been a great experience for me martial arts wise, I've missed them and can't wait until they get back.

Yesterday morning I got up and did a 6:30 Hapkido class with Shawn and AJ.  We mostly worked on stuff from a clinch or some hand fighting into some wrist locks.  Then we worked on taking the back and getting a rear naked choke from standing.

At Jiu-Jitsu later last night we had about 8 people or so.  David and Will taught the class.  The focus of class was on going all out when you are stuck in a position and down on points in a tournament situation.  Basically needing to pass someone's guard and get points before the clock ran out.  We would work on a couple of escapes or transitions with our partner and then go all out for a minute or so trying to accomplish them.  I asked if we could work on some butterfly guard (which I get passed in often) and north/south position (both places that David puts me in regularly).  We also worked on escaping back mount and side control.

I learned some really cool sweeps from butterfly that I hadn't worked on before.  They were a little counter intuitive but I was able to use them a little later in open mat.  I have new hope for when I'm forced into butterfly guard.

During open mat I worked with Will and Ken.  I felt pretty good during both rolls.  I did get gassed going up against Ken at the end though.  I pretty much begged him to just tap me out.  It was really hot and I sweat my butt off.  Hydration is going to be paramount this summer.

During these 6 days of workouts I think every part of my body has been sore.  I'm going to take the day off and go see X-Men tonight.  Give my body a chance to recover.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 5 No Gi

Conan taught class today.  The theme of the day was chokes (Darse, Anaconda, and Guillotine).  We rotated through partners executing them from different positions.  Most of the stuff with the Darce I knew already but it was good to get some more pointers because I still have some problems with where to put the pressure. 

I especially liked the no arm in darce if that’s what it’s called which ends up being more like a neck crank.  I also learned a couple things about Guillotine from the guard.  Like posting up on one arm and moving my hips back and then doing a crunch and bridging. 

In Open mat I rolled with Gina for the first time.  Her blog is located here: Ginger Snaps.  She was a lot like Sara very quick and good at defense and hip movement.  I then rolled with Adam who has a lot of wrestling experience and a huge neck.  I think he’s a blue belt.  He helped me out with some half guard stuff after schooling me with a couple of kimuras.  I then rolled with Patrick before we bowed out.  I feel like my defense is getting a little better.  I’m still spending a lot of time in side mount but I’m able to get half guard a little more often.  I finished the day with Ray.  I don’t remember anything out of the ordinary ass kicking that I usually get.

There was a visitor there named Greg (I think) that just moved back from California.  He’s a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and it really showed when he rolled.  Everyone was very impressed with him.  He probably only weighed 150 or so and he was schooling everyone.  Now that is cool.  Hopefully he sticks around.

No one showed up for the Daito Ryu class which was disappointing.

Day 4

The soreness continues.  I made it to Saturday morning Judo at 11:00 AM.  Sensei Beggs was the instructor and there were a few other black belts.  Most of the class I worked with Kenji (sp?).  He’s a brown belt firefighter who is ripped and pretty intense with his Judo.  We did some falls and some band work to start the class.  Then we did some entries into throws up and down the mat.  Kenji had to leave and I ended up working with Ken and John on a throw that I don’t remember the Japanese name for.  Basically you grab their arm and biscep and then do an inside trip and land on their chest.  I kept wanting to get into side control as fast as I could but I was told that it took away from the throw.  We also worked on another throw, I wish I could remember Japanese names but they escape me.  When I’m told what the names translate to they all make sense and are descriptive of what the throw is doing.  I just can't remember them yet.

Ken runs a sparring class after that.  It was only the two of us but we still worked on quite a bit.  We started off with some punch and kick combinations in the air and then repeating them on pads.  We moved on to some counters from a Muay Thai round house.  Finally we worked on striking from guard and defending punches from guard.

We finished with a couple of rounds of light standup sparring.  Ken definitely has some skill in standup as well as ground fighting.  His long legs, flexibility, and boxing work well for him.  We both incorporated punching with high and low kicks.  We didn’t get close enough to do any clinching or takedowns until the end.  It was a pretty good class, injury free and I’m glad I stayed.

Later on last night I went to Craig’s for dinner and to watch TUF finale season 13.  A couple of the fights didn’t go the way I was hoping for but I always enjoy some free MMA.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 3 of Project Mayhem

Unfortunately I couldn't make it to open mat today.  I went to Taekwondo class taught by Mr. Labadie at Chung do kwan at 6 pm instead.  My legs were still sore from Wednesday but once we did a little warmup and some stretching, my legs felt better.  We did a pretty good kicking drill where we did 30 kicks in a row of one kick on one side.  After each set of 10 we would pick up the pace and kick faster.  We ended up doing this with round, side and snap kick for a total of 180 kicks.  We did some bag drills up and down the floor and then some isometric roundhouse kicks by the count.  Then Mr. Labadie asked me to show teach some jointlocks.  I demonstrated a figure four lock that I've been working on that is a combination of pushover takedown and wrist throw.  It can also be reversed into armbar #2.

After class was over, I changed and got into the car.  My body felt full of energy and still ready to go.  I guess an hour class wasn't enough.  Considering that in Jiu-Jitsu after an hour class we start open mat sparring, this makes a lot of sense.  I ended up mowing my lawn which needed it really bad when I got home.

While mowing I contemplated a lot about Jiu-Jitsu and how I should go about getting better.  What is the best mindset to have while training?  What is the best way to internalize the techniques we learn in class?  Since I've started there haven't been too many techniques repeated from one class to the next.  While it is cool that Jiu-Jitsu is so expansive I find it difficult to figure out what things are important for me to work on to get better.

Day 2 of Project Mayhem (formerly Project Freedom)

I finally figured it out with my work to leave early every Thursday so I can go to Jiu-Jitsu.  I was getting tired of having to ask every week.

Conan was there this week.  We started off with some tough partner drills of carrying each other, dragging each other, partner assisted situps, and four person pushups (just like in the Marines).  I'm usually okay with these since I seem to consistently be the heaviest at 210.  Then we did a drill where we made 2 rows facing each other and would pretty much crowd surf a person laying flat from one end to the other.  Pretty fun but tough.  I didn't have to surf though.

Focus of class started out as getting someone rolled over from the turtle position.  We worked on quite a few techniques from this position that I didn't know.  We eventually went into the twister.  I was having the same problems that I usually do with this technique.  When I try to triangle their leg I can never get above their knee.  I was told to wait to hook up the triangle until getting into the truck which helped.  The wrestlers seem to really do this technique well as it is also a wrestling technique but called the guillotine.

During open mat I started out with Sara.  I was really impressed by her mobility.  She always seemed to know the right way to escape and do it automatically and quickly.  I tried my best to not use strength and she tapped me out with an armbar.

I rolled with Conan next with the same results as usual.  He lets me get into side control.  He moves slow and methodical and for some reason I lose my balance and fall to my side on my butt.  How does he do that?  I'm in side control I shouldn't be falling over.  He does a few things and lets me know that he could be submitting me. He got me into half guard and I was able to pass back to side control.  Eventually he tapped me but I don't remember how.  It's not really important I guess.

After we bowed out I rolled with Ken and he was tough as usual.  There was a point when I felt fatigued and thought maybe I'll never be good at this.  I shook it off and continued but it bothered me a little bit.  He eventually got me to tap in an Americana.

Judo started soon after.  Sensei Beggs was the instructor.  It was me, Ken, a black belt named David (I think), and a couple of younger boys.  After a warm-up of falling and rolls we got some big rubber band type things and practiced the throw motion with the other person holding the band.

After that Sensei Beggs had me demonstrate some throws on Ken to see what I knew.  He corrected some habits that I had that were different than Judo and gave me some other pointers.  It was very interesting and I was happy to receive a few compliments on my throwing from Sensei Beggs.  It gave me some new perspectives on throwing.  There was some talk about Judo rules and the names of techniques in Japanese.  I also found this interesting but my primary reason for learning throws is for self defense and I'll probably never compete in a tournament so knowing what is legal or not is not too important to me.  Before we quit Ken threw me several times and then we worked on some kazushi (sp?).  All in all a good experience.

I was seriously wiped out when I got home last night.  My whole body ached.  I was thinking about not doing anything today but after a comment from Ken about my enthusiasm on my last post I suppose I'll go to TKD tonight.  However, I do need to mow my lawn within the next couple of days.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 1 of Project Freedom

So the wife and kids took off for Alliance Nebraska yesterday morning and left me to fend for myself.  I'm trying to get in as much martial arts and relaxation time as I can.  Each day I'm going to take my gear with me to work and try to make it to a martial art's class or two.

Yesterday I worked out at Chung Do Kwan Taekwondo taught by Mike Catron.  It's been a while since I've done TKD and I wasn't disappointed.  We worked on some things that I haven't worked on in a while like twist kick and backfists.  Backfists were the theme of the night and it shows in my knuckles as we were hitting paddles repeatedly.  I also worked on a form with Shawn that was very difficult and interesting.  In the second class we worked on sparring drills and ended up doing some point sparring.  While I'm not a fan of point sparring I still get a rush when competing and Shawn has really good defense.  I haven't done kicking drills like that in a while; my legs felt fatigued afterwards but this morning I was okay.

Some of my possibilities for classes are:
Thursday: Jiu-Jitsu 4-5:30, Judo 6-7:30
Friday: Jiu-Jitsu 4-5:30 (If I can make it) if not TKD 6:30-7:30
Saturday: Hapkido 9-11:30 There is also a Judo class at 11:30-1 and a sparring class at Roseberry's from 1-2:30.  Or could do TKD from 11:30-1.  So many choices.
Sunday: No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu 11-1 and Daito-Ryu 1-2:30
Monday: Jiu-Jitsu 8-9:30
Tuesday: ???

I probably won't make it to all of these classes but I'll do as many as I can.