Thursday, May 30, 2013

Big Crowd

Tonight we had a lot of people. A lot of new faces, and a couple that I haven't seen in a couple of months. Mats were very crowded...i'm actually surprised nobody went crashing into each other.

We worked on mount escapes. Nothing major, just good basic skills to have. I really wish I had time to train more.

I did a few sparring matches, starting with Curtis. He's a large cop. I can barely close my guard on him. We had a good match, he choked me with an ezekiel, but I caught him with an Americana. I rolled with a "new guy" named Curtis. I was surprised at how poorly I was doing against him, until he told me that he has a few years of experience at a no-gi school, and has been going to this one on an off for a few years. He's still only a white belt because he primarily no-gi.

I also rolled with Heath, he didn't get me in anything, but I didn't get him. Then I rolled with Adam, and he was bustin' me out every couple of seconds, it seemed.

Overall, I had a decent night. Not good, but not horrible. I managed to catch a few omoplata attempts...which surprised me. I wasn't able to lock any in, well except one on Rodney...but he was saved by the bell. So far, Omoplata has been one of my more successful moves. I even almost landed one on Adam...but he's big and was able to push his way out.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It Ain't the Years, Its the Mileage

So, I had an absolutely wonderful class tonight.

We didn't do any drills or anything, we just straight up rolled for an hour and a half. I gassed out after about 45 minutes, but stayed in the mix because you have to know how to keep going when you're tired. Doing this helped me figure out some ways to save some energy, and I found that even after rolling, I got a second wind a few minutes later.

I did some stuff that impressed my sparring partners alot, including our coach. He let me get him in half guard, and I caught him in a straight arm bar from there. He told me he was surprised by that, but that I should have had control of his arm more. He could have gotten out of it, but he was just happy that I locked something in. It was kind of a big moment for me :D

When rolling with Ken, I took him by surprise by nearly catching him in an arm bar. He barely escaped, and actually stopped our roll to tell me how awesome my transition was.

Days like this is why I keep going back to BJJ. Even if I have a bad day, as long as I have one of these every now and again, I'm happy. Its fun.

The bad part though...
I somehow pulled my neck. I must be getting old, because I wasn't an any head holds or anything. In fact, I didn't feel anything until I stood up after working scarf hold on Joe. As soon as I did, I felt it. I sparred lightly after that, and then sat the remaining round on the sidelines. I'm icing/resting and medicating right now, but it hurts like a bitch.

My wife tells me I'm just getting old....I'm only 27.
It must be the mileage.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Back in Action

I've been slacking this week, and tonight is the only night I've actually gone to BJJ.

Honestly, I've been feeling like crap. My CFS flared up, and I haven't been up to doing much at all. Today I still felt shitty, but doing slightly better. So, I forced myself into going, and I'm glad I did. I'm ungodly tired right now, but during class I was feeling better.

We  started off doing guard pass drills, and I partnered with Heath, a no stripe blue belt. He's a good partner for me, because he's not too much beyond me. He knows enough to help me out, but during live drills, he has trouble submitting me. I can't get anything on him either, but the fact that I'm holding out against a blue belt does wonders for my confidence.

I'm the type that feeds on positive reinforcement. If I can see I'm doing well, I start doing better. So, when I roll against somebody that is really good and I feel like I 'm flubbing up...well, I get worse. I have a history of not doing well under pressure. I remember when I was in middle school I won my county's geography bee. I was excited to go to state, but when I got there, I was so nervous that my nose started bleeding and I completely didn't get a single question right. Anyways, the point is, I suck under pressure.

Anyways, I was glad to be back. I did three rounds of live rolling with Heath, Ken, and Paul. Nothing much to say, except that I am doing a lot better defensively. Paul is really good and can create holes in my game, but Heath and Ken couldn't get anything on me. I'm just happy to see progress.

Monday, May 13, 2013


I know I'm a few days late with this training log, but I've been busy.

Anyways, it was storming friday night, so when I went to class I wasn't suprised to find a low turn out. In fact, only myself and Adam had shown up. Adam is a really good practitioner, and by rights should be a purple belt. He's been a 4-stripe blue belt for over a year, and just hasn't tested because the tests are performed in another city. Supposedly, Brian Jones, our head black belt dude out of Valhalla, is going to be coming in to evaluate people in June or July, so he's hopeful.

Anyways, we were the only two that showed up, so I essentially got a private lesson. He showed me some sweeps from butterfly guard for about 20 minutes, and then we rolled for nearly an hour. I was showing definite improvements in my defensive technique, and Adam was quick to point it out. I credit most of this to Ribiero's Jiu Jitsu University, because we haven't actually covered any in the short time I've been going to class. I was really getting the hang of defending my neck.

I did a lot better on Friday than I did on Thursday, so I'm happy. I'm grateful to Adam for taking the time to work with me. He didn't get anything out of it, and could have easily just left and went home when nobody else showed up. He's a good dude.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Off Night

Tonight we did more of the transitionary stuff from the guard. Armbars and what not. It was more of a review.

I was having a really off night, submitting to crap I shouldn't have. I wasn't nearly as good as I was on Tuesday. I'm going back tomorrow for open mat to see if I can work some of this out.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another good night

It was another excellent night. Joe wasn't able to make it, so Bobby, the Children's instructor, ran the class. Started out with the standard warm up and drills, then we went into scarf hold submissions and escapes. We went over the bow and arrow and a straight arm lock from the position. Good stuff.

After that, we went into escapes. The first was s-gripping the back, hipping up and driving them over. The other was creating space and driving your shoulder towards the mat.

Anyways, we rolled a bit at the end of class. My first roll was with Ken, an Irish blue belt. He's a super cool guy. Anyways, to my surprise, I instinctively pulled the scarfhold escape during our roll. It completely caught Ken by surprise, and we had a good laugh.

Then I rolled with Hayden, the 14 year old kid. he's really good at defense, and I couldn't get any submissions in. I did, however, stay on top nearly the whole time. He is, of course, like 70 lbs lighter than me.

My final roll was with a new girl named Alex. She is coming to us from a no-gi school here in tow, where she's gone for three years or so.(we've been getting a lot of students from there). Anyways, rolling with her was interesting because she's not as aggressive as Amber, but she's pretty good at defense as well. Anyways, during the roll, I caught her in an Omplata. This is the first time I've submitted somebody for real!

I know submissions don't really matter, and that she's a new student. I don't view it as a victory over her or anything, I just am happy that my training is paying off! Joe showed me the Omplata for the first time a week ago, and I didn't even set her up or anything...I just saw a hole and took it!

Anyways I'm just excited that I had a good night with good rolls. Every time I roll, I try to learn something.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Really good night.

Well, I arrived at class tonight to find out that the power was out. Apparently, the church we borrow the space from just changed ownership, so the utilities weren't transferred over. It was no big deal, as it was a beautiful day. We just opened the doors, so we had enough light to train by. It wasn't hot out either, so we didn't really need the fans going.

There were only four students. Two blue belts (Adam is testing for purple in June, I think) and a two or three stripe white belt.  Of course, our main instructor (the brown belt) was there. Joe informed me that I really needed to work transitions, since we've never gone over them since I've been in class. He dedicated most of the hour completely to me. I felt really honored that Joe would do that for me, since there were other students there. He kinda just said "you guys go roll over there, I'm gonna work with greg." We just drilled moving between positions. From mount, to knee on belly, to side control, to scarf hold, reverse scarf hold, back to mount. Joe told me to visualize this when I got the chance.

The last ten minutes of class, I rolled with a couple blue belts. I focused on just moving between positions. Adam is a good partner to roll with. He let me stay on top the whole time, and would only gain the dominant position whenever I fucked up.

Which was often.

Still, it was a good experience. I train with a bunch of great people

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Walkin' on Sunshine

I'm in an amazing mood this morning, that may or may not have anything to do with BJJ. My dog woke me up at 4:30am, and I was like "screw it, I'm up". I'm in a good mood and feel great. This is such a rare occasion, because of my chronic fatigue syndrome. I'm taking advantage of it today. I can't go do BJJ tonight, because its my best friend's last night in town and I have to take him to dinner.

Anyways, last night's class was pretty cool. We did more transitioning from guard positions. We practiced the armbar from guard again, and then we did a pretty cool sit up transition. I don't know what its called, but bascially if your armbar fails, you're still in a position to move. I really like the aggressive focus our school has. I think aggression is something that some BJJ schools lack, from some of the videos I've seen on youtube and around the net. That isn't a bad thing, I just personally like agression.

One of our guys, the big dude that crushes me everytime we roll, got a stripe last night. It was good to see. However, I prefer to roll with his 15 year old son. The kid is very technical, but not very large. This makes him a good partner because if you screw up, he's going to catch you. His dad just kinda crushes me into submission. The kid got his third stripe on his white belt a few weeks ago, after he won his division in NAGA. I'm always happy to see team mates get promoted, even if its just a stripe.

The best part of the night is Darrin, our black belt instructor, asked me if I wanted to stay behind and roll a bit after we bowed out of class. Darrin is, quite literally, the only blackbelt in our town. Because of his work schedule, he can only come two days a week. He is a very good instructor, and roughly the same size as me. He walked me through several chokes as we rolled, including the cross collar choke. We are lucky to have Darrin, as well as Joe (our brown belt instructor).

I'm still trying to find a bit more about Darrin's lineage. I know that he was promoted to at least Blue belt by Carlson Gracie Sr. He's has often talked about the late Grandmaster with reverence. I know he got his blackbelt from Carlson Jr., who he refers to as a "beast." I don't know who he got his purple and brown belts from.

So, I'm going to get off here and go back to work. Have a great day!