Thursday, June 27, 2013


Tonight was an exceedingly good night at class.

All week I've felt like shit. I've been exhausted all week, and tuesday I didn't even go to class. Today at work, I was nearly catatonic, and decided that I probably wouldn't make it in. However, when I was driving home, I told myself to not be a whiny bitch and MAN THE FUCK UP.

So I did, and I"m glad.

I got to class, still feeling like hammered shit and got winded on our normal warm ups. I was thinking right away that I'd have a bad night. However, once we got into class, focusing on the techniques allowed me to put my fatigue and self-doubt out of my mind.

We started off doing a takedown (I don't know what its called) where you basically just grab the guy's arm from the clinch and fall back. We continued that into an arm bar, and then we started working and turtle chokes from the scramble.

When we started rolling, I was completely in the mood for jiu jitsu. I started off with Curtis, the big guy. We are fairly evenly matched, because his size and strength far outstrip my own, but I defend well. He couldn't get anything on me, and I was able to lock him down in half guard indefinitely.  My next round was with Rodney, an experienced white belt who used to do cage fighting.

Apparently, he's double jointed. I caught him in an omoplata. A DEEP omoplata that I couldn't finish as a submission, so I just rolled him over and took his arm. At this point his right arm is trapped under his back and I have his left in Americana. He wouldn't tap. He said "yeah it hurt, but I'm double jointed."

He didn't get me in anything though.

My next round was with Ken, who just got made a three stripe blue belt. He's good, and he complimented my "awareness" because I attacked his arm on a transition. He fought out, but he was still happy with my performance.

I rolled with Curtis again, and we had a really good match with a lot of back and forth. He mounted me, and I couldn't get him off. So I just waited and defended. He want to transition to an armbar and I escaped. Again, we couldn't tap each other.

My last roll was with Paul, who's probably our best competitor and very, very good. I like rolling with him because when he catches me with something, he lets me fight and try to escape, then he walks me through what I did. He submitted me twice. However, the second time we rolled, I got him in an omoplata from guard! I'm starting to love omoplata . He told me that he though he could escape it, so he let me continue on with it...but I caught it too deep. I've found that the key is to shoot the hips up and get my crotch as deep in their armpit as I can. Then I rotate my hips back and pull down. After that, its just a matter of keeping them flat.

I'm very proud of my performance tonight. I think its the first time I've ever gotten a remotely resisted tap against somebody as good as Paul. Nights like tonight keep my motivation up and keep me going.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Getting kinda serious

So, tonight we had evaluations.

We started off doing positional sparring. Basically Brian, the black belt that we're affiliated under, just wanted to see how we moved. Then we opened it up to live sparring and we did three rounds.

I got thoroughly whooped by everybody I rolled with, but they were all more experienced. I wasn't really happy with my performance, but I'll do better next time.

At the end, we all lined up. I ended up getting a stripe on my white belt! Honestly, I kinda figured I would, but i"m still happy. Its good to have some positive affirmation in your life.

Lots of stripes all around, even Joe got a stripe on his brown belt.

As expected, Adam got promoted to purple belt. I'm really happy for him, and I really got to see him cut loose against another purple belt (one who accompanied Brian). He is better than I thought we was.

Anyways, I'm so tired that I don't feel like writing much. I'm happy though :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


So, on Thursday, we have Professor Brian Jones coming in to do evaluations. I've never met Brian, but I hear he's awesome. He's a Carlson Jr. black belt, and he holds dan rank in Judo as well. We're affiliated to his school, since we when our school was started we didn't have a black belt instructor. Now we have Darrin, also a Carlson Jr black belt (though, he got his brown from Sr.), he doesn't want to step in on Brian's business. He just wants to train.

Tonight Joe, our brown belt instructor, was out again. I think he's got some family stuff he's dealing with. So Paul decided we should just roll to get ready for evaluations. Thats what we did.

For an hour.

I won't lie, I had a blast. I did really well at defending tonight. I think Adam is the only one who submitted me tonight. I hope he gets his purple on Thursday. He's been at four-stripes on his blue for over a year now. In our school, Joe can give stripes, but Brian does the belt tests. Brian usually tests at his school in Frankfort, which Adam can't go to.

Anyways, as the only white belt in the class tonight, I was subjected to an onslaught of blue belt fury. I got complimented several times for my defense. I almost got Ken in an ezekiel. He told me if I would have just waited a few more seconds, I would have got him with it. As it was, he was able to get his chin down and defend it.

Heath also complimented my guard. He couldn't pass it. I actually ended up giving up the guard, because I wanted to try a sweep (it didn't work.)

I'm tired as hell now. I'm sore too. Adam is a big guy, and he like side my ribs hurt.

Overall though, I'm happy.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cauliflower Ear?

Decent class tonight. We started off with doing our warm ups, with Darrin teaching mount escapes. We had a decent class size, though we had a small kid in class. He's only 8 or 9, and I don't want to roll with him. I'm not trying to be snobby, I just don't want to hurt a kid with my newbery.

Anyways, I started rolling with Nick. He's a pretty good white belt. Nothing special there, I just worked on my defenses, which was my goal for the rest of the night. I went with Ken next. When I rolled with him, he kneed the hell out of my ear. Its purple and swollen right now. I'm going to get it drained tomorrow if it looks bad. Suprisingly, it doesn't look really puffy.

Went with Adam, Justin, and Heath as well. Again, I just focused on not tapping and was mostly successful. I had to tap a few times, but that is to be expected. I was able to get one submission because heath tried to take my back. When he went for it, I rolled into turtle with him still on my back. The way we landed, his feet were locked together on my pelvis. I just drove my hips down, and he tapped. I can't really take too much credit, because we kinda just fell into it. Still, pretty cool.

My ear is hurting like a bastard though. I'm going to invest in some headgear.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Today I was back in class. For some reason, it was a small one. Only myself, curtis, Adam and Andrew were there. Adam is very keen on getting in as much practice as he can, because he's testing for purple next week. I wish him the best.

I came in 15 minutes late because of a dental appointment. On the positive side, no cavities.

Anyways, we went over rear mount escapes. The scoop and the bridge escape were the orders of business. We went over it a few times each, then rolled.

I'm not a big fan of the way Andrew rolls. In my mind, he's unnecessarily rough. I mainly roll with blue belts, and while he definitely has skill, he likes to crank. For example, when he transitions to knee on belly/chest, he likes to jump up and drive down. It was pretty painful, and I've never seen a blue belt do that before. I thought it might be in response to something I did (spazzing?) but Curtis told me that he nearly killed him too. I was pretty sure I wasn't spazzing, because at the time I was mainly defending, and focusing on keeping my arms in.

When I rolled with Curtis, a fellow no-stripe white belt, he was really able to use his size to school the hell out of me. He submitted me two or three times and I wasn't able to get anything on him. He works really hard, and trains five days a week. It absolutely makes sense that he is out-performing me. I wish I could commit to that much training.

I just felt like I regressed today. I hear that is fairly common, but it still is not very encouraging. My ribs and breastbone are sore from Andrew's attacks. I am going to focus on training more regularly. This hit an miss training has to stop...but real life keeps getting in my way.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

No training last week

Unfortunately, I had to skip a whole week of training. I wasn't injured or anything, it was just a busy week. I had my third wedding anniversary, my best friend's birthday, and then my cat nearly died and required an expensive surgery to save her. So, this week I plan on hitting the training hard. I've decided that I should probably make some goals. I feel like I'm getting pretty decent at defense, thanks partially to great training partners and following Ribeiro's advice from "Jiu Jitsu University"

That isn't to say I don't have a long way to come, I'm just saying I'm recognizing my improvement in those areas. Blue belts are starting to have to work to tap me out.

I've been thinking about what I want to achieve in BJJ. Its good to have goals, other than "I want a stripe on my belt" or "I want to make blue belt within a year." Those are noble things, sure, but I want something more skill oriented. So here goes:

1) I want to focus more on escapes -
I've mentioned that I'm developing ok defensively, but I still don't know what to do when I'm in a bad position.

2) I want to develop better guard passing skills -
This is a skill that is vital to the BJJ player, and my skills aren't very good. I know I'm just a white belt, but I think that developing good guard passing skills should start early. I don't think it something that should be ignored until I've been around longer

3) I want to develop my own guard game -
I'm one of the smaller guys in class. Those that don't outweigh me are in Adonis-like shape. I'm pretty comfortably "middle weight" but I"m not in shape. I've noticed that bigger guys have no trouble at all breaking my closed guard, so I need to learn how to fight from more open guard positions.

4) Develop a specialization -
I know it sounds weird that that I'm a white belt who has been doing BJJ less than five months, but wants to specialize in something. I just think its important to try to find out which skills I have a knack for. An example is been able to use omoplatas several times during rolling, despite only having been showed how to do it once. Does this mean I have a knack for that move? I'd like to explore this further, and just see what I'm good at.

5) Go to more classes -
I've been pretty consistently going to at least two classes a week, minus last week. I'd like to make an average class attendance of three time a week in the next six months. Its difficult because of how hectic my life is at the moment, but if I can manage to get some easy classes in school I think I can manage it. I'll only be in school another year, I definitely want to increase my BJJ sessions after that. I just see so many people going twice a day, and I realize that I'm never going to be able to match that level of dedication. There are several people in my gym who go six days a week (we generally don't do Sundays), and I"m just in awe of their dedication.

I will note that none of the people training that often have children :P

Speaking of which, my daughter's first birthday party is next weekend, so I won't be attending the Bluegrass Open. I think that several of our team mates are going,  so I wish them the best of luck.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Last night's class was small.

Darrin, our black belt, teach on Thursdays and Fridays now. His work schedule became a bit more stable for the time being, which is awesome for us. I honestly expected last night to be crowded, because of how packed it was thursday. There was only four of us though, five with Darrin.

We worked mount escapes, then rolled.

I started off rolling against Adam, who is a very good 4-stripe blue belt. He tapped me like six times...which is better than usual. I went against a new blue belt to our school as well. I can't remember his name, but he's a 4-strip blue. He wasn't able to submit me...but I don't know if he was actually trying. I did have some pretty decent defense going.

My third roll was with Curtis, whom is much larger than me. He's so big that I can't close my guard around him very well, so he passes pretty easily. He's only been coming for a month, but he's a cop and has trained in the past. Plus, he has been going, literally, every night we have class. I really admire his dedication. He serves in the police with Paul, who also comes everyday.

Anyways, I had some decent defense against him. I was able to pull off a cross collar choke against him. This is the first time I've been able to get it to work with a resisting opponent. He wasn't able to submit me, which makes me happy. He's so much stronger and larger than me, that its a testament to the effectiveness of jiu jitsu that he wasn't able to man handle me.

My final roll was with Darrin. He kinda just toyed around with me, and let me work on some of the stuff we'd been doing in class. Its always fun to roll with him, because he's so playful. I tried an omoplata against him, but I hit it too shallow.

Anyways, it was a decent night. It wasn't my best crappling, but it wasn't the worst.