Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30th - Morning Rolling

It was just me, David, and Ken this morning.  It was a little chilly but not too bad.  Ken and I went first and I felt like I was doing pretty well being aggressive and we went back and forth with positions for a while.  Once he passed my guard I did have a much harder time since I'm still accepting the side control position (I've got to break that habit).  He eventually got me with a kimura from north/south.  We talked about it a bit and I have some ideas for next time I get put in that position. 

I went with David next and tried to follow his advice from last time.  Just to keep my feet close to my butt and try not to let my legs get straightened so he could pass my guard.  It worked for a while and I did feel a little more confident although he almost took my back.  I was able to get back to guard but couldn't figure out how to what submission to do.  I felt like I came close with an armbar but couldn't get my leg around his head.  At least I felt like it was the right technique to do but executed poorly.

Ken and I did some stand-up Judo for a while.  It was really getting me winded.  I think the constant trying a throw and failing in Judo is what takes a lot out of me.  We took it to the ground again.  There were a couple of times I had his back or had gift wrap from side control and couldn't do anything with it.  I believe Ken got me with an americana or a straight arm I can't remember.

I think next time there is a small group with odd number of people we'll try to do more position drills with time where we can switch partners more often.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 28th - Gi

It was good to be in class again after 5 days of vacation and gluttony.  Jerad's focus of the night was on backmount, which I didn't realize with how we started.  We began with one of the Judo takedowns where you bear hug their waste and then do like a one legged squat to trip their back leg (not sure of the Japanese name).  From there we did a takedown kind of like pulling guard from behind by kicking behind their legs and sitting down.

From there we went through several chokes and the armbar.  Mostly a basic back mount class with the gi.  We finished with a couple of partner backmount drills.  I went with Fuji and Matt.

Unfortunately My toe was bugging me so I decided to skip open mat last night.

Highlights of last Wednesday early morning open mat with David, Fuji, Robert, Bauer, and Greg.  I rolled with Fuji, David and Robert.  I got tapped out by all three.  Greg and David worked on some De La Riva stuff to back mount.  David and Bauer were in a weird position and Bauer said something like 1..2..3..go and went up in the air and tweaked his neck pretty bad.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 21st - Gi (I'm Yellow not Blue)

Jerad taught last night and the theme was submissions from guard.  We did a couple of different variations of armbar, triangle, and kimura.  I worked with quite a few partners and felt pretty good about my techniques.  Triangle can be difficult for me at times, not sure if it's the shortness of my legs but I can't always hook it up properly or I don't feel like I'm in the right position.

We drilled from guard with person on top trying to pass and person on bottom escaping, reversing or submitting.  I had a tough time with both Fuji and Robert, however I caught them both once.

A couple of people asked me if I was promoted to blue belt yesterday which was odd but also made me feel feel good about my progress.  Nope just got promoted to yellow as far as I know (yellow is equivalent of white with stripes for BJJ).  Then Adam goes and heel hooks me during open mat because he thought I was a blue belt too.  Yeah, nice try Adam.  I tried to assure him that I didn't mind and as long as we're careful I'd like to learn to defend the ankle stuff too.

Adam and I had a good roll, however my ribs are still not 100% and there were a few times I didn't buck or defend well because of the pain.  Hopefully after this long weekend I'll be healed and rejuvenated.  Besides the heel hook he didn't submit me but he could of a couple of times I think he was just working on technique.  I was doing my best to stay on my side in half guard and not get passed.  I worked several times to get quarter guard to half.  I also ended up in side mount at one point.

I think I need to start back at square one with guard passing and review the basics again.  I've got the gist of it but I think there are some little technical things that I'm missing that make a world of difference.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 20th - No Gi (Ribcage, Hold Together)

Conan was teaching class when I came in a little late.  The theme of the day was defending the armbar from mount and guard.  Most of the defenses were kind of utilizing the rear naked choke kind of bicep grab and then trying to block the leg and stack.  We usually ended up in side control from there and we also worked to knee bar and ankle lock positions.  There were a couple of times while practicing where my bridged or extended my body and the muscles between my ribs were killing me.

For open mat I ended up just going with Eric who I hadn't rolled with before.  As he is bigger than me I decided not to be too aggressive and pulled guard and half guard right away.  No reason to struggle from the knees.  I was able to prevent him from passing my guard for the most part and conserve some of my energy.  He did eventually mount me but with his long legs there was a lot of space for me to escape through the back door, I was able to do this a couple times.  However, one of the times I really stressed my rib when I tried to roll him over.  At one point I had him in a arm triangle but couldn't finish.  I dragged him across into backmount but wasn't able to do anything there either.  I went for an armbar and he used the defense that we had been working on that day.

He did get me in a kimura from half guard and I made a noise of disappointment which made him stop.  I didn't mean for him to think I was hurt and I feel kind of bad about it. I'll have to work on how vocal I am when I'm disappointed, I don't want to give a ref the impression that I'm verbally tapping.  In both matches I eventually ended up in side mount and submitted him with an americana and the second time with a darce.  We went over the darce a little after that.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 17th - Testing (Yellow Belt Achievement Unlocked)

Went into the testing not knowing what to expect although I had heard stories before.  Shihan was present and ran the testing after Ray took us through some basic falls and rolls. 

From there on the testing focused on Judo throws for the most part.  I partnered with Fuji and we threw each other several times to demonstrate different throws we've been working on.

We also talked about some Judo pins which was odd because we cover more positions to a greater extent within our Jiu-Jitsu classes. 

Shihan had us demonstrate a few chokes from back mount and an arm locks from mount.  I must have got Fuji pretty good with a bow and arrow choke because he coughed for a while.  This was the extent of the ground work.

For the remainder of the testing each person was tasked with throwing everyone in the class 5 times each.  It was pretty tough and I was winded afterwards, but I think I showed good technique throughout.  Close to the end I was shoulder thrown by someone and I felt something funny in one of my left ribs.  I continued but I knew something was wrong.

We bowed out after that and were told to Randori standing up with Judo.  I went with Adam and got taken down at will.  When he was told to try Judo stuff it got a little easier but when ever I tried to twist my side bothered me so I didn't do much good the rest of the time.

I'm still hurting a little bit but I'm surprisingly feeling better than last night.  So, I'm pretty sure my rib isn't seriously injured.  I'm a little disappointed in the testing mostly because I didn't feel like I got to show my stuff, I was hoping to do more Jiu-Jitsu. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16th - Morning Mat (Getting Colder)

It was only David, AJ, and I this morning.  It was a little rough to get started because the mat is getting colder and colder in the mornings.  David and I drilled Armbar from guard and mount until AJ joined us.  We talked about testing a little bit and I worked on a few techniques for tomorrow (Guard pass, Reversal/Sweep from bottom, Arm lock from top and bottom, Judo throw, wrestling takedown, etc). 

David didn't want to get too sweaty because he had a presentation at class in an hour so AJ and I just rolled for a while.  I was really relaxed and kind of went with the flow until I could use good technique to reverse him.  I let him take my back a couple of times and fought out of it.  I'm not sure if I was being lazy or just trying to challenge myself a little more (a little of both).  There is tons of benefit in having the knowledge that you are a little more experienced than the person you're rolling against.  You can relax a little more and just let things happen.  I wish I could feel this same way when I'm going against David or any of the other purple and blue belts, but I guess that's the point. 

I did work outside of my normal game and was able to pull off the baseball bat choke, far side armbar, and the kimura all from the side control stuff that we worked on Monday. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 14th - Gi

Jerad taught class yesterday which was centered around techniques from knee on belly.  We did far side armbar, kimura, taking the back, darce, and baseball bat choke.  I had a few problems with my stupid gouty toe but it was some good drilling.  At the end of class we did some partner drilling and I worked with a visitor, Josh who has been doing Jiu-Jitsu in Kansas for a year.  He seemed to be pretty good.

For open mat I went with Robert first.  Which was our first time facing each other.  It actually wasn't the blowout that I thought it would be, he pretty much dominated but I did reverse him a few times and spent some time in dominant positions.  Hopefully this shows that my defense is getting better as it took him quite a while to submit me.

The new guy David looked like he needed a partner.  I tried my best to instruct while try to get him to figure things out while we rolled.  He seemed to have some knowledge of positions like he knew that getting his back taken was a big deal.  I tried to get across to him that it's going to be a rough ride and it will take time to get good and your ego would constantly be destroyed.

I went with Will last.  The one cool thing in our roll was that I was able to do the north/south choke defense that we learned on Thursday with turning to the side, grabbing the chin, and controlling their arm and taking them down. to side control.  However, he gained guard soon after.  I'm not recalling how he submitted me. 

The last several classes I've felt pretty good about my performance.  My defense has been improving greatly and I'm not getting caught in the same things over and over, I'm also not getting gassed or breaking as quickly as I used to.  I'm anticipating and afraid that this feeling will soon go away.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 13th - No Gi (Silence)

I was excited to once again make a Sunday No-Gi class.  I was however worried when Gina and I were the only ones there but people started showing up and we ended up having 8 of us or so.  The women's Jiu-Jitsu class was going on at the same time and they were working on throws with a big crash pad.

The theme of the day was mostly working on dealing with someone standing up in your guard.  We did a roll to an ankle pick, a knee bar, pushing with both knees, pushing with the foot, and my favorite threading one leg and then taking the back.

While drilling with Justin and Adam on one of the techniques, we heard a scream and the room fell instantly silent.  Then Gina's daughter was saying that she broke her mom's wrist.  Sara who is a medic training to be a fire fighter or something like that was over there in a flash.  We eventually found out that she was being thrown and stuck her arm out to catch herself and her wrist turned out to be broken.  I'm sure everyone there had sympathy for her, an injury like that halts your Jiu-Jitsu training as well as affects your ability to work, etc.  They took care of Gina quickly and we continued drilling techniques. 

We drilled some kimura/americana drills which was very informative.  We tend to do the kimura while staying in side control.  While I know this works I'm still puzzled why every time I see someone do it in MMA they step over the head.  I asked the question and I hope Conan didn't get miffed.

For open mat I rolled with Adam first.  We spent a lot of time trying to pass to a good position on each other.  I did 2 really good things in this match I got in for a moment in a guillotine choke and I also defended a omma plata by rolling the opposite way to a single leg really smoothly.  However, after that I had him in turtle and he's very strong there.  I really don't remember how he finished me, it must have been an americana because that's what usually happens lately.

I went with Mike a couple of times after that.  It was an awesome battle.  It seems to be more and more difficult for us to pass each other.  There was a point when he had me in a kimura and an inverted triangle.  I was able to keep my arm in between my legs and when he let go of it I was able to get free.  There was also a point that I was stacking him and I took one of his heels across my jaw.  It didn't hurt then but there is some discomfort while chewing now.  I had set up a darce choke really well at one point and he started to get free by going north/south I moved into the north/south choke and felt his chin was in the right place.  He flopped around quite a bit but I was pretty confident that I had it.  He eventually tapped.

We went again but we didn't get to finish.  I did get an x-guard sweep that I wasn't able to complete to side control but it was pretty smooth. I ended up in side control in the end which I fought hard for but Conan told us to quit for the next class.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 10th - Gi (Nose Smash)

Had a pretty good class yesterday.  Conan taught.  We did some partner drills and the forward shrimp drill that I suggested from a video (abs hurt).  I think because we had a few new people in class and we haven't done it in a while we did some falls.  Seemingly this has become my least favorite thing to do in Jiu-Jitsu class.  Not because it hurts or it's hard but I've spent so much time falling and teaching people how to fall in Hapkido that I really don't see how I can get any more out of it.  I understand that it is a very important skill for all martial artists especially new ones so I will shut up and just do the falling.  However, if we start doing the high obstacle rolls and stuff like that, I'm all about it.

The theme was side control escapes again mostly focusing on getting guard and half guard.  There was a point when Conan had Will teach and he seemed a little caught off guard.  When Will has taught me things in the past one on one he's been very clear, but he struggled a little bit with this.  It could have been that he didn't understand what Conan wanted him to teach or it could have been that his basic go to escape is a little different than the standard escape that Conan was looking for.

This made me ponder if there is a struggle between "the correct way" and the "way that works" for the individual.  While I am definitely a stickler for detail I can understand how people modify techniques to suit themselves.  Doing what works best for you when rolling is best for competing but what about for teaching?  Should you teach things the proper way or the way that works for you? 

I rolled with Conan first.  This was very different than usual.  He did not let me put him in side control like usual and let me try some things before reversing me.  He didn't let me have anything really (maybe he did but I don't know enough to realize it).  After he swept me I spent most of the time in side control trying to defend my arms from getting taken away.  There was one point when I was able to get to my knees but he kept me in the sprawl position.  I was able to take half guard from there but it didn't last long.  His side control was very heavy and I felt out of breath through most of the match.  In the end he set me up with a arm triangle choke which I tapped to.  I might have tapped a little too soon though, which he commented on. 

I rolled with Ray next and we started out standing.  I feel like I need to man up a little bit more with my standup because I'm so worried about over committing to a technique and it not working and getting reversed that I end up half assing the technique and they still don't work.  Not that I would have a lot of success with Ray anyway but I should at least try.  We locked up at one point and Ray did a huge throw and ended up landing on my face.  While I didn't bleed at that time I blew some blood out later that night.  We continued from side control and Ray pretty much kicked my ass.  I did okay at defending and pulling my arm out when I would get caught with something but I pretty much stayed in side control until he Kimura'd me. 

Afterward Ray made the comment that him and Conan both thought my defense was getting tougher.  Which was really cool.  Hopefully someday they'll be able to say that my offense is getting good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9th - Morning Roll (The Bauer Battle Continues)

We went Gi this morning which was good because it's starting to get chilly.  David was there first but said he was having some congestion issues and wouldn't partake the in rolling.  It was cool of him to still come down and open the doors.  Bauer and AJ soon showed up and later on Greg.  (Where you at Fuji?)

Bauer and I continued our ongoing battle.  I was close a couple of times to getting into the same trap as last week.  I ended up in half guard again but I did my best to prevent my far shoulder from being pinned and my arm getting isolated.  There were a couple of close calls but I was able to prevent it.  I don't recall everything that happened but I got top for a while and took mount.  I was in a top side triangle position but wasn't finishing.  He eventually passed through the back door and then I ended up back in bottom half guard.  I regained full guard.  Again I don't remember how I got top and then mount again but I eventually got Bauer's back.  I was not having any luck with the bow and arrow choke but I went for broke and got the armbar using the forearm frame that I learned recently.  This was a really tough match.  I was breathing hard throughout and the last time he reversed me I had the thought of just giving him something to submit me with just to get it over with.  I really need to eliminate this type of thinking out of my head.

I had the pleasure of going with Greg next.  I almost always have to laugh when I go against Greg because the way he moves and does stuff is so beyond anyone else I go against.  I have a feeling of uncertainty when I go up against him because he feels like he knows everything I'm going to do before I do it.  He also has this way of always being at the correct or superior angle.  Any pressure put on him is redirected.  I don't get it, but I want to.  He submitted me twice once with a baseball bat choke from knee on belly and I believe a bow and arrow choke the other time but I can't seem to remember.  He fooled me a couple of times with a tricky guard pass where he puts his knee down but has his foot up and it feels like I get half guard but it's just his knee.

We talked about stuff you could do from the back for a while and worked on some chokes.  I was really liking a choke that Greg showed us where you grab your opposite sleeve with your underhook arm then put the other knifehand behind their neck.  It might have been an Ezekiel or a Bravo choke but I don't think that was it.

I went with AJ last and we had a good roll.  There were a couple of times that he got me in sprawl position.  I really need to prevent that better. I got him to tap with a north/south choke.  I'm not sure why I can do it to him but no one else.  Maybe it's because he doesn't know I suck at it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 7th - Gi (Ho-Hum)

Had one of those nights last night where I kind of felt like nothing really clicked for me just felt kind of bla.  It was a relatively small class at first.  We did some good cardio and partner drills for warm-up including wheelbarrows and the armbar drill.  We also did a set of Judo throws and wrestling takedowns.  We ended the warmup with Adam in the middle of the mat and then we each tried to take him down.  I almost had him with a wrist throw which I think surprised him but he got out of it and eventually took me down.

David taught and went over his favorite submission, the triangle.  We did a couple of different things mostly focusing on keeping their posture down once we got the feet hooked and then working into the proper position.  We covered underhooking their leg and then tipping them over into no-man's land. 

We finished the regular class with some partner guard passing and then the 8 minute position drill.  I did this with Robert who is an MMA Pro.  He does a few things that are a little different than what I normally see at our school.  He was very good from all positions especially his side control escapes getting back to guard.

I rolled with David first.  I thought I would be able to do a little bit better with not letting him pass my guard today, it didn't work though because he did the same thing as usual of straightening my legs and then moving into side control.  I'm not sure how it all went down in the end but I felt like I had a chance to escape and then I was put into a triangle which I was escaping but then my arm was left out there and David did an inverted armbar.  Pretty cool and smooth transition.

After watching a good match between David and Robert and then Ken and Tate as well, Will and I rolled.  Will is a little more easy going than David.  Not as straight forward.  We hung out for a while not getting positions until I tried to pass his guard.  I almost got there but I had to roll to my back and settle for half guard.  I tried my best to work the low half guard sweep but once again my far shoulder was getting pinned down.  I need to work on framing and getting on my side more.  He eventually isolated my arm and got me in a kimura.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 3rd - Gi (No private time for me?)

Before class Conan approached me and said that I'd be testing for my yellow belt November 17th.  After a quick warm-up we broke up into some groups to train different things.  Conan took Fuji for some one on one time.  I worked with David and a new guy Mike on positions and some basics.

Later Ray had me work with Adam on setting up armbar from the guard.  We did 3 setups grabbing the opposite arm and then underhooking the leg into armbar, walking up the body into armbar, collar choke into armbar.  I'm going to try to get more reps with these, especially the first two.  There were little things like bridging my hips up high that I wasn't doing well before.

We broke for Judo and Conan took Adam to the side. Beggs went over some throws that we could do in no-gi.  His favorite throw seems to be o-soto gari which seems to get injected into every class.  We did it off of the opponent striking or pushing us and circle blocking and trapping it and then shoving our shoulder into their torso.  Fuji got me really good unexpectedly and I blurted out "God Damn Fuji" pretty loud.  We also worked on shoulder throw. 

I think it would be pretty cool to get some time with Conan.  I know there are some things that I would like to run by him to figure out how I can better respond in some situations.  Also because I really have no idea to expect from a testing here.  I'm confident I'll pass but I want to look good in the process.

I rolled with David for open mat.  It seems like I'm ending up in the same positions with him over and over again.  I'm on my butt and I'm doing a good just of keeping my body up and keeping him back but he eventually flattens out my legs and almost takes my back.  However I was able to setup a triangle today.  There was a point where I was up on one knee and had his arm trapped in my armpit and a hold of his wrist with my other hand.  I was able to jump rope my leg and lock my feet in triangle position.  Alas I didn't control his posture and he eventually passed.  But, it seemed like an awesome setup and it was cool that I made the connection.  David eventually moved to north/south and put me into a kimura, which was pretty strong.  I thought I could defend it but he did a good job of getting my hand away.

Me and Ken swept the floor and then worked on a few fitting in Judo throws.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2nd - Morning Open Mat

Had a good group this morning of Ken, David, Fuji, and Bauer.  We pretty much just ran it as an open mat and rolled and switched partners every now and then. 

I started out with Ken.  I felt like I did a good job of not letting him pass guard as much as he usually does.  I was able to get a foot on his leg or hip where most of the time I couldn't.  We had a good back and forth battle it seemed like.  He eventually got me in some type of a triangle in no mans land.

I went with Fuji next and couldn't get out from underneath him.  I'd have half guard and he'd pass, I'd regain it and he'd pass again.  I got to my knees but didn't act fast enough to do a sit out and ended up in half guard again.  He was eventually mounting me and had me in position for a topside triangle.  The pressure on my chest and neck was a little too much for me to handle so I tapped.  I probably shouldn't have because it wasn't a real submission but man was it uncomfortable.

I went with Ken again while Fuji and Bauer rolled.  There was one time where I had him in an arm triangle from guard but I couldn't do anything with it.  I felt like I was attacking well from the guard and just kept at it.  Ken eventually led me into a north/south and position and helped me get the kimura.  I wish I could say that I earned it.

Finally Fuji hyped up a match between me and Bauer.  We started from standing and I was able to get the upper hand with a standing guillotine.  I shucked him down a little bit but unfortunately he was able to secure a single leg and eventually worked me into half guard.  We spent most of the rest of the match from there with me regaining full guard once or twice.  I've got to figure out how to keep my top arm from getting isolated in this position, this was ultimately my downfall.  He was eventually able to get me in a straight armlock.

I'm glad we started doing this, the extra mat time is going to be good for me.  I'm actually a little sore this morning, but it's a good kind of sore.