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Posts Tagged ‘blue belt’

For the record, I am all about technique, and trying to execute technique perfectly.  Also, I am working on in my study of jiu jitsu to be patient, self-aware, and calm under stress.  I fully believe in the Gracie Jiu Jitsu techniques and my instructors.

On Tuesday, in the advanced grappling class, I was frustrated. We were learning defense from the bottom; however, my class partner was focused more on sparring. This was the sixth Russian student that I have worked out with at the dojo. I was choked out about six times. I couldn’t careless.  At one point during the class, I advised my partner that I wanted to focus on technique and to take it easy. He didn’t respond.  At one point, I was getting baited into sparring back. Professor Pedro Jr. didn’t like what he was seeing.  The truth, I found the arm and hand positions difficult and even more so while being aggressively choked.   I didn’t fully learn the lesson and I doubt my partner did as well.

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This week, I partnered up with an enormous guy.   When I was in high school, I didn’t have the experience of wrestling with a heavy weight, so this was virgin territory.   I estimated him to be at least 6-3. and possibly 260 lbs or more.  I’m 6-0 ft and 168 lbs.   I could barely put my feet together around his waist when I had him in the guard position.   All he had to do was move around which would cause my legs to immediately open.   That class we practiced the amass pan and the amass pan defense.  The Amass Pan is a kimono choke where the  pinky knuckle and knuckle next to it are pressed deeply into the side of the neck next to adams apple, which painfully cuts off blood flow to the brain. When I was defending against the amass pan, that is when you grab the top of the knuckles and pull back on the opponents choke hand, he put his full body weight on his arm.  It was a lot of weight, a lot of pressure.  If I didn’t bridge and pull back with a lot of effort, he would have choked me out just from his body weight.  It was an enlightening experience to say the least.

From an earlier post you know that I was knife attacked when I was an exchange student in Madrid, Spain.  I escaped with no harm.   Professor Pedro is considering including some weapons defense techniques in the fundamental classes since people are attacked with more than just fists.  It could be a knife, bat, stick, gun, etc.  Today was special, we studied a knife attack defense.  Normally, weapons self-defense is a separate class that you pay extra for. So, if someone tries a stab attack to the heart, my arm should raise to defend automatically.     As a blue belt, we are focused on learning reflex action. For the record, I don’t recommend anyone taking on an opponent with a knife or a gun just because you took a self-defense class,  but if you don’t have a choice,  you should know how to defend  yourself.  This reflex defense could save your life.

On Friday, Valente Brothers Headquarters had a seminar taught by Professor Ryron Gracie, truly a great teacher and the grandson of Master Helio.  Also, I want to give the BBJ view on the Trayvon Martin case.  I will write two separate post on each.

 

 — “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”       Buddha  500 b.c.

 

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This week I had a great class under the instruction of Joaquin, the youngest of the Valente Brothers.  The class was a realistic fight sequence leading into the pedalada, a foot strike from the guard position.  The sequences were clearly explained and easy to follow.  Also, there were a lot of new white belts that recently joined.

How many years of study does it take to become a black belt?   From what I have learned, it will take up to nine years of regular practice.   In today’s world, businesses come and go in that time frame.   I think that the Valente Brother’s Studio, dojo,  will be here nine years from now since there are at least four capable people to do it.  I definitely believe it will be around in 2021; hopefully, so will I.

Since I have started training, I have become more peaceful.  In an interview on Youtube.com, Grand Master Helio mentioned that this would occur with the study of Jiu Jitsu.

 

He who formerly was reckless and afterwards become SOBER, brightens up this world, like the moon when freed from clouds.”

Buddha, Bhammapada, 2500 years ago.

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I find learning the fundamentals difficult.  Every time I review a fundamental lesson, I usually discover a new detail in the move that I didn’t see before.  I sometimes don’t feel confident about the move.  I think the test of mastery is when the fundamental move becomes an effortless flow.   Professor Gui is challenging us to search for hidden details in the fundamental moves that goes beyond step 1, step 2, and step 3.

Lately, I’m hearing stories of people getting injured.  When I do, I try to find out more.  Belt rank of the people involved?  How it happened?  Could the injuries been avoided? I often repeat to myself, ” Tap out early, tap out often.”      If your injured, or you’re not really ready for an advanced class, take it easy.  Don’t rush it.  Also, it is a good idea to arrive early so that one can stretch out.  That will help in preventing injury. Communicate with your sparring opponent.  Also, be aware of the age of your opponent.  If your working out with someone older or inexperienced, then I would take it slow.   You can also monitor your opponent.  If you see the expression of pain, ask them if they are in pain, or stop the move.  Be smart on the mat. Know your limits.

This week, I watched a Japanese movie, Tokyo Zombie, the English-speaking version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJEmduNwjKU  It is a horror-comedy manga feature two blue-collar factory workers (Who happen to be jiu-jitsu experts) dealing with a ravenous, flesh-eating zombie uprising in Tokyo. I tried a move from the movie, an escape from the triangle choke, it’s around 1 hour 29 minutes.  It didn’t work. I ended up getting choked. I made that choke cough noise after I was let go.  However, I liked the movie.  Note, warning, it’s not for kids.

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It has been a week of self-reflection. Am I too old for this? What if I get injured?  What else am I going to do?  Is this the right place for me?  If I am so fortunate to earn a black belt, then what will I do?

This week, I asked a brown belt, whom is close to earning his black belt, did you ever see yourself as a brown belt before becoming a brown belt? Could you see yourself as a black belt? He laughed when I asked the question then he answered, ” No, it’s a day by day event.”   Like him,  I can’t see myself beyond the next class.

I had a blue belt moment, I learned a technique incorrectly on the A Mas Apon. My choke hand was wrong. I tried it during a sparring session but it wasn’t working because of my hand position.  I gave it up because it looked like I was hurting my opponent. Anyways, the above brown belt was my fundamentals techniques partner that showed me the correct way.  This made me think what an advantage it is to take private lessons. I would like to try a private class but I don’t have the money and I am not sure what I would work on at this time.

This week, I learned that it will take two years to advance to purple.  Basically, I will get a stripe every belt ceremony if I put in the hours of course. That is okay since I am in no hurry. However,  I am a bit upset with myself.   I am going to write an article on mental alertness since I should have asked these questions on day one.

This week, I learned a cool new throw called Soto Makikomi.  Note, the way I learned the throw and the execution is slightly different from the way a judo practitioner would do it.  I would love to use that in the near future, but I am having trouble with the unbalancing of the opponent. I need to work on it. In that same class, I was thrown a lot.  The trick is to not tense up and to not give any resistance. A throw is a good way to gain the top position. A take down will also give you top position and that is where I want to be in fight. When I wrestled in high school, I remember the coach always telling us that the person who executes the take down first usually wins the match.

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Back in the late eighties, I was a high school wrestler.   I loved watching the unlimited weight class matches.  It was like an American sumo match.  Today, there isn’t an unlimited class anymore.  It has been banned.  I believe the heaviest weight class is around 240 lbs maximum.

Every match that I ever saw, the first wrestler to be taken down lost.   Most of these obese kids couldn’t do a single sit up, not one.  So, when the obese wrestler is on their back and with a 200 lb opponent on top of them, it was just a matter of time before they lost.

Heavy weights ran out of energy really quick.  Wrestling is exhausting.   After three minutes, these guys would just lay there waiting to be pinned.   This works well with Jiu Jitsu because the longer you wait, the faster they will use up their energy, and the quicker you will win.  So if you avoid getting knocked out in the first three minutes, these guys will spend most of their energy.

The grossly obese struggle with balance.  Hence, they are easy to take down if you can unbalance them.  Stay away from the double leg take down because if it’s not done correctly, you could get trapped underneath.   Also, the obese wrestler could fall on top of you and that’s when you could get hurt. So, it is important to be on top.  It is crucible.  We jiu jitsu players can win from the bottom, but that is the back up plan.

In conclusion, avoid being the guy on the bottom when dealing with a grossly obese opponent.   When the obese guy is on top, it is a bad situation.  Go for a quick take down.  I recommend osto gari, or a cinturada with a foot hook.  Stay away from double leg take down.   Ride them till exhaustion.  Three minutes later, escape, a choke,or a hand cuffing, you decide.

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Monday, I went to the morning fundamentals class.  It is important to me to have a great grasp of the basics before getting into advanced classes.  A lot of fights are won with just fundamental knowledge.    A champion is a champion because they do the fundamentals better than everyone else.

At the throwing class, I was paired up with a judo black belt. Note, I believe he is a judo black belt.  He’s studying jiu jitsu at the studio.  He gave great advise on things that I didn’t know.  After the techniques part of the class, we moved onto randori, or sparring.  I didn’t feel comfortable about being too competitive. Let’s be honest, a little bit of a challenge makes it fun.   During the sparring, my practice partner, cut his toe. It was a small cut that he didn’t even realize until he saw small drops of blood on the mat.  So, we spent much of the sparring class cleaning the mat with lysol spray and paper towels.  I hope to pair up with him again because the judo insider information is a gift.

I am having trouble with the Japanese words. I found an interesting program called Human Japanese. It’s free. Check it out. You will like it.

This week I skipped out on the sparring class. I admit that I was putting it off and got over run with errands.   Can you believe a brown belt asked me why I didn’t show up.  I am looking forward to next weeks Thursdays sparring class.

I started doing meditation which I learned from a buddhist monk, Yuttadhammo, on Youtube.com, five minutes in the morning and five before going to bed.  I’m thinking about posting an article on Meditation because I believe mediation can help everyone become a better jiu jitsu player.

Good chess players make good jiu jitsu players. This week, I played chess everyday on my kindle.  There are lots of free chess programs on the Apple I phone and android network.

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