Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 29th 2014 - Gi (Sidelined Once Again)

So I came to class just to watch, again.  My gout has been bothering me for the past week but I was dealing with it, with little discomfort.  It didn't really start bothering me until after I mowed the lawn on Saturday.  Usually it just bothers one of my big toes but this time it moved into my ankle and it's been very painful and hard to walk. It is much better today, and I'm hopeful for Friday morning.

I made a rare visit to the doctor to get my medication and am feeling better.  Like many times when this gets really bad, I also went to the internet to see if any new information has come out on the disease.  The thing that stuck out to me last night was that being overweight often exacerbates flareups.  I think it will be good all around to focus on losing some weight again.  See if I can get back to 195 again.  It just sucks that I like to eat things that are bad for me.

Theme & Techniques: Guillotine defense against wall, Basic guard break,  Double Under Pass

The noon class has been consistently growing, which is a good thing for the potential of more classes in the future.  Harvey and Tim were working close to where I was sitting and I think I gave them a couple of helpful tips.  As usual it's difficult to just watch and not be out there.  I even thought about requesting a loaner gi but I wouldn't have been able to do much.

Rolling: Guard Position (4 x 2 min rnds)

I saw some good things from everyone.  Greg was sitting next to me when I observed Jorge attempting to pass Robert's guard.  Jorge had a collar grip and was working towards a knee slide pass.  My first thought was to tell Jorge to grab Robert's pants instead but I asked Greg if he would give the same advice.  He said he wouldn't and the gi grips have a lot of merit for where he was to control distance and make pressure (paraphrasing).  Maybe it's just not my style but I stay pretty far away from my opponents gi when I'm on top trying to pass guard.  I may need to research more.

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25th 2014 - Gi

Theme & Techniques: Scarf Hold Escape to back mount, Kimura from side control, Tripod Side control escape

Felt great to make it to the early morning class.  I've been swimming the last couple days during lunch but no workouts can replace how I feel during/after Jiu-Jitsu.  Cesar was my partner for techniques and we got some work done.

This morning I realized another benefit of Greg's method of repeating the same lesson for a week.  There were a few details to the techniques that I picked up on today that didn't sink in or that he taught differently.  The first was at the end of the scarf hold escape bringing your knee up a little higher before rolling to back mount made a huge difference.  The second was using shoulder pressure to cross-face while going for the kimura helped put their hand in the right position on your shoulder to make it easier to lead into the kimura grip.

Rolling: Side Control Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (5 min)

On the bottom of Cesar's side control is no picnic.  It took a lot of work and ingenuity to finagle my way back to guard but I got there.  From the top, movement and cross-facing were my friends and I spent a lot of time in north/south. 

It's hard to tell with Greg how well I'm doing.  I feel like I make some progress and I do some really good things but he always has a way to counter what I do.  He beats me handily but he also allows me to feel good about my performance.  He submitted me with an armbar on my near arm from side control setting it up by messing with my far arm. 

I rolled with Darjio after class and it was well worth it.  We had a bit of a slow start as with new guys I generally sit to guard, but once I did that he sat to guard.  So I got up to pass his guard and then he got up, eventually we figured it out and I played guard.  My main focus was to get to side control and complete the kimura that we worked on this week.  I also got some cross guard work and attempted the armbar that I've been working on but was unable to finish it, but it did setup the omoplata sweep.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 22nd 2014 - Gi (Just Noon)

Theme & Techniques: Scarf Hold Escape to back mount, Kimura from side control, Tripod Side control escape

It's good to be back in a regular class and knock the rust off.  I've cut back to three times a week for a while to assist at home.  So I apologize for the fewer posts. 

As with most Tuesday noon classes and Friday morning classes I'm usually used as the demonstration dummy while Greg teaches the techniques.  This is very cool but at the same time also a little stressful.  There are times when he'll hint at what the opponent can do if you do the technique incorrectly and what is expected is not always my first response.  The feeling has gotten better over time but it was noticeable today when he asked me to respond to when someone turns in with an underhook. 

I worked with Bhuvana on the techniques and while she protested that the techniques were a little difficult, I think she did a good job with everything.  Greg even made the comment that all three of the techniques that he picked were a little more complicated than he would have liked.

I think the kimura from side mount is going to be something that I experiment with in rolling.  Like Greg showed a couple of Tuesdays ago, it can be done when their arm is isolated on the opposite side of the head and today we were setting it up just by being under the elbow.  I still need to figure out the chest pressure needed to put their arm in the right place.    

Rolling: Side Control Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling post class

Bhuvana did a good job of holding me down in side control.  It looks like she's figuring out the pressure nicely.  I was only able to escape twice.  I went with Robert next, and while I felt pretty good working from the bottom, I felt a little sluggish working from the top.  My hands just didn't seem like they were going to the right places. 

After class I rolled with Tim for a bit.  In the process I taught him a new technique because apparently it was his first experience with a darce choke.  He thought it was pretty cool.  On our second roll focused on the two on one and while he defended my arm drag I was able to respond by pushing his arm back into him which worked like a charm.  I also have been working on my RNC lately in the place of the bow and arrow.  He did a great job of defending it and eventually got out of back mount.  Back to the drawing board with that technique and possibly the position.  I think I may need to use more chin pressure on the shoulder to keep my opponents hips under control.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 19th 2014 - Kids Class & Open Mat

Kids' Class

Pretty small class this morning with only 5.  They worked on scissor sweep and played sumo.  Things were going pretty well until my middle child, Jace, had a melt down.  I thought we were passed this but he was dead set on wanting to work with his friend Conor, but it was Jayden's turn to work with him.  We both sat out of blob tag, the last game of the class because he refused to work with anyone else. 

Open Mat

It feels good to be back on the mat, however I felt a little rusty.  No knee pain at all today so I decided to give open mat a try.  I did play it safe and kept my rolls playful.  I didn't come into it with any techniques or a plan in mind of what to work on, it was mostly to hopefully get my groove back.

Jorge: Was tougher than the last time we rolled, which is saying something since he's tough to begin with.  He made me defend his attempts to recover guard and then fight off his half guard for a majority of the roll.  I attempted the bread cutter choke a few times but could never secure the shoulder grip like I wanted.  Eventually I worked my way to the baseball bat choke.

Jerad: Pretty much treated me like I treated Jorge.  He's got me pretty well figured out and I'm unsure how to rectify that.  One thing that I took note of was how he positioned his knee in butterfly guard to nullify it and also start passing.  I may have to ask him about this.  He submitted me with a few things, mounted triangle and an interesting kimura on the near side arm from side control.  

Fuji: Is still only using one arm while rolling.  While it did make some things easier it did screw up my game a little bit as I kept wanting to kimura or underhook the out of play arm.  So, one armed Fuji is also a handful.  In the end he took top position and did a one arm bread cutter.

Tim: Made the comment that I hadn't submitted him in a long while and he was starting to miss it.  After we rolled a few times he asked me to show him the north/south choke that I kept catching him with.  He picked up on it pretty quickly, it would be cool to see him attempting it in the future.  I played guard a little lazy at one point and he was able to pass to side control.  From there he did a great job of keeping me locked up in the position and putting weight in the right place. 

Austin: I was feeling pretty tired by the time I got to Austin.  I worked some spider guard from the start of our rolls attempting the basic sweep.  I screwed up a few times but just kept trying.  He felt a little more solid position wise than I remember, I'm interested to see him and many of the other new guys in another couple of months.  I attacked from mount but couldn't seem to finish anything from americana, armbar, ezekiel choke.  He did regain quarter guard which gave me the idea to try the rolling backtake.  It worked but I feel like I telegraphed it way too much.  After rolling we talked about rolling to escape omoplatas

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 15th 2014 - Gi (View from the Sidelines)

Theme & Techniques: O Goshi, Americana from Mount, Bread Cutter (Rickson) Choke

I experienced the worst kind of torture today by sitting out of BJJ and watching.  Last Tuesday I mentioned my knee was bothering me a bit and it got a lot worse the next day.  I had the most trouble going up and down stairs and then kneeling on it.  Then my back started to hurt a little from walking funny.  I probably would have been in a terrible mood if I wasn't at home with the my family for the past couple weeks.  I'm hopeful to return to the mats on Friday at full strength.

The only thing of note from watching the technique portion was that I think I'm trying to get too deep of a collar grip when I do the Rickson choke.  The other piece that was new was that Greg did almost a sitout and brought his leg under his other and turned his hips sideways in order to get the deep shoulder grab.  I have had a hard time getting a good shoulder grip and both of these changes should make a big difference.

Rolling: Mount 2 x 2 min, Side Control 2 x 2 min, Free Rolling 4 min

I tried my best to coach when I could.  Fuji apparently had a hurt shoulder and did his best to roll without the use of his arm.  Since he had his arm tucked into his belt, I kept trying to get Ben to attempt a mounted triangle on him.  I then went to coach Bhuvana but I lost her to tunnel vision.  She started out pretty aggressive and tried to choke Harvey from within his guard.  She ignored my advice to sit back on her heels and posture up.  Later on when we discussed it she said everything felt so fast and she felt claustrophobic and while she could hear a little bit of what I was saying she panicked.  I tried to reassure her that it happens to quite a few people and it's something to learn from. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 8th 2014 - Gi Drilling & All Levels

Drilling: Cross Guard failed omoplata counters to triangle/armbar and armbar

It felt great to get back on the mats and I appreciate all of the congratulations and ribbings for being a new dad again.  This was the first drilling class that I have attended and it went by way too fast.  I partnered with Will and we both worked on some closed guard techniques.  He was doing some 2 on 1 and I with my signature cross guard.  I'm at a place now where I feel pretty comfortable expanding this game past the omoplata success or fail.  So today I focused on if they try to turn back in or use a stiff arm against my leg.  It was good practice and I'm glad I made it.

My right knee has been bothering me a bit lately, but it feels more like a bruise rather than anything serious.  I'm sure it will heal up in no time.  It didn't cause me any trouble during class but it was a little tight afterwards and only really bothers me going up stairs.

All Levels
Theme & Techniques: Elbow Escape from Mount, Armbar from Mount, Followup Armbar from failed Americana

I trained with Brian L. during this portion of class.  One side of my escape was way better than the other, which is I guess to be expected, but I usually like to practice everything equally on both sides.  I didn't have any issues with the armbars as usual. 
Rolling: Up/Down/Out Mount, Guard Gauntlet

Greg separated us into two groups by weight and as expected I was on the big guy side.  I've never thought of myself as big, mostly because I'm only 5'9" and I was pretty scrawny growing up and didn't really fill out until after Marine Bootcamp.  I guess I just have to accept it.

My mount has felt pretty good lately.  I feel like I have a lot of attacks and am able to anticipate my opponent's escapes to be able to shift my weight properly or flow into another attack.  Of course with the likes of Jerad and Will as my opponents I do have to work a lot harder. 

I was a guard passer rather than a guard player during the gauntlet this time.  Had a good time with everyone.  Jerad hit the pushing double foot hook sweep that he's been working on, on me.  It's so demoralizing, especially after fighting to pass his butterfly guard for so long. Adam was assigned half guard which is always difficult to deal with.  There are so many things to think about especially because of his wrestling he can turn over at any time and then I have to worry about the lockdown as well.  Shawn had full guard and he surprised me with an explosive sweep after I passed to half guard. 

After class Brian asked me to help him with a kimura setup from side mount that Greg walked us through.  This was a complimentary technique to the farside armbar but starting with the arm on the other side of your head.  From there we put pressure and moved to the other side to setup the kimura.  The takeaway for me was that I wanted to posture up to get the arm in the right position but I actually wanted to keep my head down and put pressure down.  I think this may come in useful and I may need to drill it some more.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

April 5th 2014 - Kids Class & Announcement

First, let me announce the birth of my 3rd son, Jake Maxwell Cather.  He came a couple days earlier than we were expecting but we're very happy to have him home.  We decided not to find out the sex before he was born and having 2 boys already we were looking forward to the possibility of a girl.  Alas it wasn't meant to be but after meeting our little guy we are overjoyed and wouldn't trade him in if we could.  Jake was born healthy and my fantastic wife is doing well.  Jayden and Jace are enjoying having them both back home and we've had quite a few new questions to field.      

Kids' Class

My boys did really well today and have been doing well for a quite a while.  Greg has also mentioned that he's happy with their maturity as of late.  They've gotten over quite a bit since they started; from not wanting to wear their gis to not wanting to partner with other kids. 

Today they played 1 on 1 foot tag and blob tag.  They worked on the double leg and from what I saw everyone in class looked great.  Some of the kids looked better at shooting than me. 

We had some new additions to class today.  My friend Craig brought his son in for his first class and Bhuvana brought her boys in for the older class.  Hopefully they all enjoyed it and stick around.