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Posts Tagged ‘sparring’

This week in fundamentals, we reviewed head lock defense with punch defense into a kimura. It was when an attacker grabbed the victim in a head lock. The other arm of the attacker would throw punches while the victim was in a standing head lock. The first step was to connect hip to hip with a strong posture. The next move was to block the attackers fist strike arm. There was a few more steps. The key detail was to hold the kimura grip tight and step out with the inside leg to finish the move.

I went to sparring. Back to back week.  It went well except for one match that chewed up my body. Fyi, next month, I will be turning 47.  Sometimes I felt a lot younger than I was and this guy thought full speed was okay.  It felt good but risky.  He had 15 to 20 pounds over me and athletic.  He didn’t have an easy time tapping me out. I didn’t tap him out but was able to pin him. My mind went blank. I could get the pin but wasn’t able to work a choke or an arm bar.

Later on at home was when I saw the price, just before showering,  bruises, scratches, pulled muscle,  neck, and the nagging.  I heard a guy, 22, ” I will be back in the evening for the evening sparring class. ” He could do that because of his youth and fitness level. I spent the weekend taking it easy, trying to heal up.

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Big gains in sparring development. The gains were NOT submissions, but defense from not being tapped out as often as previous sessions. I would say the development has to do with the advanced grappling class. When an opponent had me mounted and had their knees in the arm pits, I was able to shrimp out in order to get my elbows back down on the floor. Last time I sparred, I was tapped out a lot of times with the arm bar. Also, I learned a technique, from advanced grappling, to keep the elbows together on the chest and hands on the chin. That technique stopped multiple choke attacks.

This week I took the Advanced class which was taught by Professor Gui. During sparring, I was able to use the lesson on arm bar breaks to get a submission.

Back to fundamentals. I bought a new notebook. I plan to combine the notes from two other notebooks with the current lesson. I was trying to make a mnemonic device to help remember each lesson. I think this is the path to mastery. I believe I could get more out of my class time if I become more mindful. Mindful, being more focused, looking for details that I may have missed during previous lessons.

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As the big guy, 6-5, slim, 240/250 lbs, and I slapped hands, me, 5-11, 170 lbs, we got into the clinch grip. My mind was racing. My first thought was that I had to win the throwing match. I absolutely didn’t want to be on the bottom. Right after we slapped hands, and we were in the clinch, I did a fast ochie gari. Hip to hip with my leg hooked deep. Like a slow falling tree after being chopped down, he went falling and I got into his guard immediately.

Once I was in his guard, I didn’t feel good about posturing up so I grabbed his gi with both hands around his chest area and got low. I couldn’t pass his guard. So, I decided not to work any move, I wanted him to make a move as well as burn energy, so I observed and tried to maintain my position. He didn’t like not moving so he was bucking me. He grabbed at my hands. I had to break his grip. He tried crushing me with his legs. Eventually, he managed to trap one of my legs so I let go of the two-handed front grip and grabbed his right shoulder with a tight two-handed clamp behind his back. Then, I worked my leg up, waterfall, as I pushed his leg away, I mounted.

After I passed the guard, I didn’t waste time getting up in his arm pits with my knees, a high mount. He grabbed both his elbows as a protective move from the arm bar. I decided not to try an arm bar since he could roll on me or I would have to get aggressive in trying to free an arm. Then I heard someone shout, Time!

Over all, I felt good. I knew for fact that I wasn’t going to survive if it became a power match. Instead of muscle and aggression, I took my time, no clock, played conservative, and survived.

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It has been along time since I sparred. I had avoided sparring because of injury and an over competitiveness, actually, a fear of losing. I had played a bad game. What mattered was that I was in the game. I had my butt kicked by a teen, apparently he trained at the dojo through the kid program, a South Beach bouncer, an ex division one college wrestler, and another ex division three college wrestler. I had been arm barred six times and choked a few times. I’m obviously doing something wrong and repeatedly. My goal was to survive, not to take this serious, this was a game, and I was taking it easy by conserving energy. I was getting mounted and my opponent would get up in my arm pits at least four times. There were two arm bars where they sat on my chest. I kept trying to pass the guard without breaking the guard legs. That didn’t work at all. I was getting pinned and smoothered. I tried not to panic and remained calm. When it was over, I wasn’t injured and my ego was less competitive so I would call this a good day.

I did the advanced class before sparring. We did reflex striking defense drills. Professor Gui explained ” It is a miss conception that Jiu Jitsu is only grappling. Stay far. Use the side kick. Hopefully with your back to a wall.” I know going to the floor in a bar sometimes there is broken glass on the floor, and concrete is definitely not my first choice. I lucked out and partner with a judo black belt whose a brown belt in jiu jitsu. Also, he had some boxing skills. We worked on striking defense, something I needed to work on and a throw. We did some unscheduled randori. I was thrown left, right, and center. We both wanted to do some judo. I liked working out with opponents that have skills. That will make my skill level develop quickly. The combination of this class and sparring, I felt that I’m beginning to really learn how to fight, not that I need to learn.
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For the first time, I tried a no kimono, no gi,  class on Friday night.  It was a tough group of people, an ex college wrestler, an ex m.m.a. fighter, and visitors, als0 known as, people off the street.   Professor Gui taught us a few choke holds. These chokes are done when the opponent shrimps out of the side mount.  That night I was lucky to have a brown belt as my partner whom was very patient and took me slowly through the steps.  To be honest, I thought it was complicated and didn’t think that I would be using it anytime soon.  However, I was wrong.  I was able to do a guillotine choke when my opponent tried an elbow escape from the side mount.   It was my first submission.  Note, I don’t want to give the submission much attention just like when I tap out.  For me what was extraordinary was that I was just taught the move, practiced the move on my partner, and then executed the move in sparring that night.  That’s cool.

Throwing is a part of Jiu Jitsu just as much as it is to Judo.  I attempted the Makikomi. It was pretty bad.  I was able to grab both elbows for a short while but I couldn’t swim my other arm over them to execute the throw.   As soon as I grabbed both elbows of my opponent, he knew something was going to happen and immediately try to yank his arms free.  What I learned is that the execution has to be quick or it won’t work.

I was in some bad positions during sparring.  At one point, my opponent had me in a top mount position with his full body weight on my abdomen and the hooks in.  I was having trouble breathing.  I panicked.  I should have stuck it out because I was  prepared for this.   I have been practicing a five-minute meditation on only five breathes.  Here’s how you do it.  It is a twenty-second inhale, hold for twenty seconds, and exhale for twenty. Five breathes, five minutes.  Note, it takes practice to get a twenty-second inhale. You can start with a 10 second inhale, 10 second breath hold, and 10 second exhale.  At another time, I was pinned.  I tried a pressure point to get my opponent to let go.  It didn’t work but it may have made him uncomfortable.  I should have asked my opponent after the match if it was working.  Note to self,  research pressure points.  If I find any article worth mentioning , I will let you all know.

Every Friday Night after the fundamental class, Professor Pedro talks about Jiu Jitsu philosophy and life style.  I forgot about this.  I usually have prepared questions.   If any of you have a question, please on forward it.  Anyways, someone asked about the Gracie Diet.   I haven’t read the book yet. I haven’t really  started the diet.  From what I understood, the diet is concerned with blood ph levels.  It is bad to have high acidity in the  blood.   The blood should be alkaline.  To keep your blood alkaline, you have to consume the right food and not mix certain foods.

Professor Pedro also discussed taking control of your mind as with his example of salt addiction.  He made the decision to never put salt on his food.  We all know that long-term over use of salt leads to high blood pressure.   Once  you stop over consuming salt, it takes around three months before the taste of the food returns.  Back in the late 1990s, my ex girlfriend from Liverpool, England, taught me that we put too much salt in our food in America.  That night, she made a soup without salt to prove her point.  The food wasn’t important. It was a salt addiction and the food could have been anything.  I liked Professor Pedro’s message of how he instructed his mind that he isn’t going to consume salt instead of his mind instructing him to eat salt.  A part of a Jiu Jitsu practitioner’s goal is to learn mind control so that we can control our emotions.

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It took a lot of positive self talk to get me to sparring this week. I totally didn’t want to do it but that is the time I needed to go. As I waited for my name to be called, I felt like a bloody steak just about to be tossed into an alligator pit. I had four opponents, one American, one Brazillian, one Colombian, and one Russian.  I received the most damage from the Russian, but I also learned the most from him.  My body is all messed up.  I will be ready for next week. I gave up my back at least eight times. This is not sports Jiu Jitsu, so giving up your back is the end of the fight. I tapped out at least five times.  I did a few things right, I didn’t burnout.  I had conserved my energy throughout all my matches.    I didnt get overly aggressive and I remained calm under the pressure. I did a new take down,kukkiki toashi. I think thats the name. So, my goal for next week is to try to not give up my back as much. Work a new throw.

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