Welp, I’m set to fight on Friday; I’m kind of relieved and a little disappointed at the same time. Relieved that I don’t have to get up balls early to compete, but a little disappointed that I have to sit around stressed for 1/2 the day, obsessing over every little move I’ll make on the mat.
Oh, and the extra dieting. That sucks. IBJJF, you’re cutting into my açai time! Jeez…. 😉
It might just be the enormous amount of caffeine I drank today, but I am starting to get a little jumpy about competing. Yesterday I clenched my teeth so much that I gave myself a headache (which is actually not all that rare with me, but I am currently blaming it on this tournament) and today I’m jumping around like I’m hopped up on speed (which is actually kind of rare for me: I blame that on tournament + caffeine).
So, while I continue to freak, please check out the photo gallery of Jones vs. Rua on Heavy MMA and I’ll be playing this until in hopes a successful Friday (what, I like Euro Pop sometimes… don’t hate)
Last night’s class was pretty good, we worked with a couple of de la riva set ups and sweeps on the arms, which I realized I need to get into, mainly because it’s an open guard that I like the idea of attacking from there. Not saying I get to do it often, but I like the idea.
Judo was Tai-toshi, with a stabbing almost fake out move that forces the person onto one leg, giving you the opportunity to go ahead and hop into the throw.
We are also gearing up for training for Pan Games at the end of March, which leads me to the title of this post. Usually I like to take my time, go with the flow and see if there are any openings for things I want to work on, or whatever we learned in class. In class last night however I go the first inkling that I need to practice the hard training that is sometimes beneficial when getting ready for a big tournament. Not that I was overly aggressive at all, but the seed is there, ready to grow. It’s a difficult path to tread, to be aggressive enough to push the match the way you want to go without being an obnoxious ass. I like to think I favor speed over strength in that regard. Yes, of course some strength is used to complement the technique, but I feel for women, speed and quick transitioning is where it’s at. And by the way strength should ALWAYS complement the technique, and not the other way around. It’s tempting to try to grind out a technique, especially in a tournament situation because we want so badly for it to work.
Anyway, so we have a goal in sight, and I am beginning to feel the need to up the pressure when it comes to training. Will this happen overnight? Probably not, that’s just how I am. Is it coming? It needs to, or I am going to feel under-prepared and kind of an ass when it comes to tournament time.
Anyone else thinking about going to the Pan Games?
I would like to state for the record I find 5 hr energy drinks gross as all hell.
But I totally drank one last night in the hopes I could make it through the evening.
Max wanted to drill a couple of things before team training, so we got to the gym a little earlier and worked on some cross-side and mount escapes. We did team training after that, which we did some warm-ups, armbar and omoplata drills, some positional training again and then did some matches. We aren’t doing much in the learning positions realm of things due to the tournament this Saturday. Learning is good, but realistically no one will learn something Wednesday and use it Saturday: now is the time to use what you know and work on your game plan with what you have been practicing up to this point.
Frankly I was so spent from the night before that I didn’t think about anything: I tried a couple of things with open guard, when a person is standing in front of you, sitting up and holding onto one of the legs to either get a single leg take-down, or pulling on the one leg to get the person to narrow their stance, so you can grab the other leg and force them to fall over. The tricky bit is getting far enough to your side to make sure they cannot face you, push their knee forward and force you onto your back, giving them the advantage to pass the guard.
Other than that, most of the night was kind of a blur of sweat and moving to get into the best position possible in each match.
This past Saturday we had our seminar with Xande Ribeiro, and it was pretty excellent.
The part I liked the most was the theory behind the moves he was doing. There were general concepts that can be used in a number of different situations and different ways of looking at the same kinds of problems. Through the seminar Xande offered new and interesting perspectives to things guards such as the Butterfly and the Open Half (guard…yeah…ok, anyway). There were a few moves we specifically drilled, but the corrections he made to everyone’s technique, even when it seemed like nothing more than a little tweaking and fine tuning, had rhyme and reason. Words aren’t coming too smoothly for me at the moment, but the majority of these movements were obviously routed in fundamentals and weren’t (for lack of a better term) “throw-away” gestures, something that weren’t necessary for the successful completion of the technique. I think these are all great techniques for men AND women, and can fit into most games that competitors play.
The end was also opened to a Q & A session, and we sat around and talked about a couple of positions. Sadly, there were no references to castles and flags this time. Or moats.
Oh! And update, I fixed the Maxercise blog link, and I apologize for the confusion before; other than that, posts will be even less about mat time this week because I can only go on Wednesday. Boooo.
I would like to ask the peanut gallery though: would you like more in-depth descriptions of what we do in class? I guess I am SO against the Youtube jiu jitsu and pro-class time that I have almost completely avoided most references to what we do in class, but would that be easier, or at least slightly more interesting to read?
So, last night was a good night for technique: we did a kind of de la Riva on the arm thing and swept the opponent, pulled them into an omoplata, or rolled into one if we couldn’t pull the arm. I would make an honest attempt to look for a Youtube video or photo to describe what I am talking about, but this is something that you need close supervision for, not something you pull your friend over for and then suddenly someone has a broken wrist and is out of commission for the next 2 months or so.
During training I had a match with a nice white belt lady who comes to class now and again, but I think trains a lot with her husband at the gym they own in Jersey. Anyway, during the session, she mentioned that it seemed nearly impossible to pass my open guard no matter what she did. In response I promised her that the day she was able to pass my guard I would buy her a beer. And oh trust me, I totally will. Unless she has a thing where she can’t drink (I’m finding more and more people who have that kind of thing going on).
I promised this because someday I know it will happen, because she is really working to get better at the sport. She pays attention to the technique, and really works to practice what we are learning. The only criticism I really have is that I wish she would come to class more, but we’re grown-ups: as much as we work to clear our schedule, there’s a tendency for life to go, “This shit needs to be dealt with: NOW.”
It’s also always hard at first to train, especially people that are a higher rank than you: they know more, and already you’re keyed up and sometimes you give something to the person that you don’t even realize you were doing, and then you curse yourself, forgetting it’s, you know, a part of the process of progressing in jiu jitsu.
Anyway, I look forward to the day when I can put that glass of beer in front of her, smile and congratulate her on her progress. Because that day is coming-it may take a little longer at the rate she is coming to class, but jiu jitsu is the ultimate exercise of patience and we will encourage her, and as her teammates we will celebrate her progress. Because that’s what teammates do.
I made a decision last night that sounds a little arrogant, but really isn’t and is really for the betterment of my jiu jitsu and a compliment to my teammates.
There is a purple belt girl that I train with a lot, and she is one of the few and the proud that can pass my open guard like it’s not even there. It’s not like my open guard is laughably pathetic, so more often than not it’s surprising when she does.
Another thing I should mention about all of this is I am usually the one that sets pace, I guess you would say in the beginning of the match, in terms of who’s playing bottom and who’s playing top. Or at least it seems that way from my perspective; on further thought she prefers to play bottom, but has no problem springing to top and passing my guard when I sit to work on my bottom game. More often than not I would play top and we would go from there, but lately I have been really trying to work on my bottom game and have recently started there with her.
I decided that at least for the next couple of months I will be starting on the bottom when training with her, and see where it leads. One this girl’s favorite positions is knee in belly and cross-side, so it’s going to be hard at first, but I’m hoping to continue to persevere and come up with some sort of answer to someone with a strong pass like that. She tends to cross the knee, and while I have been getting to half-guard, I haven’t been successful yet passing out of it into a better position.
I’m hoping this doesn’t sound arrogant, but instead a compliment. She has an excellent pass in her arsenal on the mat, and it’s something that I want to get better at defending, and therefore, better with opponents I don’t train a whole bunch with and are, you know, best friends with all the holes in my game.
So, we shall see how it turns out: I imagine I am going to be in a number of sticky situations for a while, but in the end I will hopefully succeed, at least once or twice.