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Posts Tagged ‘police officer’

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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After two weeks of rest, I wasn’t ready for the throwing class so I put it off.  Why? I didn’t feel confident about my falling ability.  I am older than most students so I need to be sure that I am limber enough to move around.   It is important that you feel confident about your actual ability to break a fall.  As a general rule, every time I attend, I warmup with falling exercises. In the future, I’m planning to practice falling on a beach because of the soft sand.

However, I did go to sparring this week.  Back in December, I took my first sparring class. It felt like an MMA event.   I had four opponents and two were overly aggressive.  I had never seen them.  I was fighting for survival.   At the end, I was completely exhausted and had marks all over my body and face.  I violated the rule, To fight the slow fight, and conserve energy.

So, for the second sparring class, the one on Thursday, I took the advise of other students to conserve energy and not be overly aggressive. I communicated better with my opponents.  The 2nd class was more staged.  If one person wins passing the guard, you are supposed to stop resisting, wait, wait for them to move,  and then you react.  I didn’t have any injuries.  For my first and second class, I admit that I was using everything but  Jiu Jitsu.  I used a judo pin with a choke hold.  I used wrestling moves.   Next sparring class, I will try to only use Jiu Jitsu.  If I can do a throw, it will be from the clinch.  Professor Pedro Jr. made it clear that he doesn’t want to see any throws that aren’t from the clinch.

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Here are my Jiu Jitsu goal’s  for 2012:

Keep coming to class.

Try to follow a weekly plan, one fundamental class, one throwing class, and one sparring.

Give 100% effort while training.

Make it past the first round of the next Grandmaster Helio Gracie tournament in October 2012.

Talk with white belts. Give them support.

Review my fundamental notes twice a week. Copy my fundamental notes into my phone.

Be able to do 40 military push ups and situps by the end of the year.

Practice Uchikomi. Note, Japanese word meaning self throw practice. Article to follow.

Eat a five vegetable soup everyday.

Improve flexibility.

Buy a chess game for my computer. Play once a month.

Learn all the bushido words to memory.

Try a meditation class.

Add pictures and videos to up coming posts.

Learn to make it a habit of executing throws from the clinch only.

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A question for myself is, “How can I maintain my Jiu Jitsu lifestyle?”  since classes don’t restart until January 2, 2012.

Maintaining a healthy diet is part of the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle.  Every morning, I drink a Gracie diet smoothie made with an apple and  a banana.  For lunch,  I have  a bowl of soup, preferably made with a minimum of  five vegetables.

Jiu Jitsu lifestyle is staying physically fit. So, I do thirty push ups a day and twenty sit ups.

How do I keep the Jiu Jitsu mind sharp? I review my fundamental notes. Professor Gui gave good advice to execute the moves in your mind as read them, which is a transferring from the conscious mind into the sub conscious mind.

New Years is around the corner. I am preparing a Jiu Jitsu resolution list.  Do you wish to make an attainable Jiu Jitsu new year’s resolution?   If so, would you consider sharing some of your ideas?

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What is the best defense in a bar brawl ???  That question comes up a lot during Jiu Jitsu practice.  As a Jiu Jitsu student, you adapt to the situation.  Generally,  I know that I don’t want to take it to the ground. Bars are known to have broken glass on the floor.  If your on the ground, someone could throw a chair on you or you could be kicked in a group attack.  In my opinion, the best defense is not being there.

June of 1987 , Greg S., a friend from high school,  and I went to Ocean City, Maryland.  It was a tradition for recent High School graduates from Baltimore and the surrounding  area. Ocean City, Maryland,  is a small run down family vacation town on the Atlantic Ocean with a sandy beach.   Near the O.C. boardwalk, there was a night club with a dance floor, which allowed 18 year olds into the establishment, but were not permitted to drink. We happily paid to get in and had to wear yellow wrist bands.   Meeting women was on our minds.   Note, we had a couple of beers on the beach before we entered.  To be honest, I don’t recall drinking or how much but it definitely wasn’t an unreasonable amount.

As we were entering the bar, I believe we were being watched.  It was about to get very ugly.  The place was dark.    As we were scoping out the dance floor for women,  a ring of guys formed around Greg.  Greg was in the center and another guy facing him.  The guy next to me said, ” Stay out of this and you won’t get hurt.”  Greg is a big guy and he could hold his own so I didn’t immediately object.  Thirty seconds later, the man who told me to stay out of the fight,  sucker punched Greg in the face.   Just as his hand recoiled, I noticed that he was wearing brass knuckles. Brass knuckle is a small metal weapon; worn over the knuckles on the back of the hand.  Greg was stunned and stumbling.   To make things worse, as Greg stumbled, the attacker in front of him struck him.  There was no time to get help.  I didn’t remember seeing a bouncer at the front door.   I had to act.  Right or wrong, I forcefully grabbed the back shoulder shirt of the guy with the brass knuckles and the other guy  on my other side by his shirt shoulder.  I charged forward while dragging the two guys by the shoulder into Greg and the other guy.  In a second, we were all laying on the floor in a pile and I was on top.  My hope in collapsing the ring was to create chaos so that Greg could escape.  This is when the whole situation gets really unclear.  I don’t know what happened to Greg S. after that point.

My next memory is jumping to my feet after the pile up.  When I got to my feet, there was a guy in front of me with his hands up with clinched fists.   I quickly looked around.   I didn’t see Greg.  I jabbed the guy hard in the jaw.  He returned with a hook.   I immediately felt a cut under my eye.  The cut on my face was from the attacker’s jagged ring.  Blood ran down my face.  I don’t have memory of the events after that.  Perhaps there was another attacker, out of view, that choked me out? I believe I was knocked or choked unconscious at this time.

Next memory, I saw K. Hopkins, she graduated with me and Greg,  standing with her boyfriend in front of us.  Her boy friend was manic, wide-eyed, breathing heavy, and holding a broken tennis racket.  It was weird.    Her boy friend said that he thought he saw the attackers leave the bar.  I don’t know if he came to our aid or after I broke the fight ring, the fight evolved into a brawl.    After that, I remember the sun had risen.  A cop was making a report.  We started making our way to the exit.  Someone yelled, ” Let them go, they had nothing to do with this.”

Next memory, I was in Greg’s car.   Greg was in bad shape.  One of his eyes had a broken blood vessel.  He kept repeating the same sentence over and over. He had a concussion. I wanted to go to the emergency room but he insisted on going home, so I drove him home in his car.

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This week I learned a new Japanese word, Kuzushi, from Professor Gui.  Kuzushi means to unbalance. This has everything to do with getting a good throw.  We as Jiu Jitsu students should learn about Kuzushi.    A throw doesn’t seem like much; especially, if it is done on a mat or soft ground; however, if done on concrete, it could cause a lot of damage, or even kill an attacker.

How does one execute Kuzushi?  Experts say there is more than two ways, but I only know of two, dragging them off-center balance or pushing.   So, if your practicing Jiu Jitsu, a throw, you have to work on getting your opponent off-balance before executing the throw.  In the meantime, I found some articles on Kuzushi which I haven’t fully read yet.  If you want me to follow-up, let me know.

I learned that The Open Double Collar Grab is really a defense against a headbutt attack.  In the United States, we don’t attack like that.   I was told they do a lot of headbutt attacks in Brazil and the UK.   As soon as the headbutt is successful, it is usually followed by a knock out hook. This week, a Jiu Jitsu student, a police officer, by the name of Peter, taught me the importance of the prayer hands shooting up with the hip motion on the Open Double Collar Grab.  The prayer hands are ultra important to stop the headbutt from striking your face.   Peter said that his friend was an expert in this move and that it could take down anyone if they weren’t prepared.

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