Tried to defend a single-leg in training tonight. Result = loud painful pop. My training partner did nothing wrong. In retrospect I was a bit more forceful and not very technical in my attempted escape (stuff head and turn around to step out/away).
It's the LCL and the same injury I had twice as a white belt. Both times I was out for two weeks and light training with a brace for another month or so. Timing is terrible. Southern Nationals is in two weeks and NAGA worlds is in six weeks.
I'm hopeful, though, that it's not injured as badly this time. It's achy and feels generally unstable, but at least the initial pain has subsided substantially. Icing and ibuprofen soon. I'll know more tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
I leave this Friday for New Orleans. The work assignment is for up to one year. Although I'm sad I'll miss my professors and training partners at the University of Jiu-Jitsu, I'm excited to see my friends at NOLA BJJ. Oh... I'll have to withdraw from the Master Senior Worlds. My weight cut was going well too. Oh well. Small sacrifice. I'm glad to have a good job again. I was hurting for work for far too long.
Only three fights. One in my division and two in the Open.
Won my division 9-0. I'll be honest. I was a bit intimidated. The guy had a few inches on me, used to fight Ultra, and had just won three fights to take Gold at the Vegas Open last month. I pulled guard, bread-and-butter spider sweep, passed, then took his back. He almost got me in a footlock.
I got a bye for the open quarter. In the open semi-, my opponent was a tough middle weight who barely beat the guy I lost to in the open final at nationals last year (and lost to twice at Grappling X). I pulled open guard to curu curu and got the sweep. From there it was a mess. I was played defense and basically stalled for 5mins because I was afraid to do anything because he was so fast and strong. He almost clock choked me and probably got several other advantages. Pulled out a squeaker 2-0. I don't want to face that guy again. Really tough.
A scrappy feather weight made it to the finals on the opposite side of my bracket. I typically have trouble with the smaller guys. But not this time. I don't recall everything that happened but I won 22-0. I couldn't catch an arm or a neck. His survival/escape techniques were excellent. I missed a few arm bar from mount opportunities but I didn't feel like I had the transitory position stable enough to execute so I played it safe. At one point I had a solid knee on belly and I could see "tap" in his eyes. So I pressed it but he shrimped and escaped. After the fight he said he was very close to tapping to the knee on belly pressure.
I'm more than pleased. My body's been beat and I've been fighting so poorly in class lately; my head was not into the tournament.
Thanks to all my RJJA teammates for the corner support. Oh! RJJA won second place as a team. OSS.
Signed up...but I'm definitely not ready. My body HURTS. The more I train the more I hurt. The more I hurt the more poorly I train. I'm struggling with White and Blue belts 50lbs lighter. I'm struggling to execute basic positions. Today a 17year old White Belt tapped me 4 times in one 6 minute round. 3 of those submissions were from kesa gatame chest pressure. My head is not in the game.
One of our newer white belts, a 175lb 18yr old beast, tapped me by inverted triangle from sankaku jime (watch this). My stubbornness and ego was the only thing between him and a few more taps before the rough 8mins was up. The fact that he has a high school wrestling background and is a Brown Belt in judo isn't much of an excuse. He made a LOT of mistakes. But he was so darned fast as soon as I recognized opportunities he moved on and I couldn't capitalize. Felt really pathetic. A Purple should be able to control him. I couldn't.
In Chicago for a work conference. Went for a run downtown on Sunday. Lots of dodging people and start/stops at intersections. My left knee started aching a bit but nothing big. 6.4 miles into the run I started to cross a street and my leg gave out. I literally fell and couldn't stand up again. Needed help getting across the street and out of traffic. Sat on the sidewalk in disbelief for 15 mins or so trying to assess the damage. Decided to walk a bit. Got a few steps then had to stop. A few more steps. Etc. Eventually I started walking longer stretches with a limp and found my way back to the hotel. Iced it immediately (and again yesterday). I'm still not sure what's wrong. I can walk okay, but it's achy and unstable. I struggle walking down stairs.
Had planned to train at Comprido's and Carlson Gracies while here. That's off the agenda. Also, I have a triathlon this weekend. It's only a sprint (run part is flat 3.1 miles) so I'm hopeful I can do that. But I'm worried about the La Jolla Half Marathon coming up in two weeks. An old roommate I haven't seen in about 10years is coming to town to run it with me. It's a hilly course so aside from the distance, I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the downhills. Hmm...
Got scratched behind the ear about 6 weeks ago. It never healed. Now it's all puffy, red, and gross looking. Went to the doctor. He said it's an infected boil and could be contagious so he advised me to stay off the mats until the antibiotics can run their course. Grrr...
Professor Rodrigo Pagani gave a 2.5hr seminar last night at UNIJJ. Rodrigo heads RJJA Brazil from his academy in Niteroi. He hosted the Rio Camp last summer. We worked on a kimura/arm bar defense and escape, mount escape (upa variation), curu curu guard/sweeps, magretti choke, and roletti choke. We drilled each position plus positional sparring. Finished the seminar with some training.
I've seen the curu curu and magretti/roletti chokes before. In Brazil and at Pagani's last seminar at UNIJJ about six months ago. But each time I see them I learn more. A lot more. The kimura/arm bar defense and escape was new to me. Instead of holding onto my belt for dear life and hoping my opponent gives up, I'll implement the basic techniques shown last night (feet flat, head up, bridge, walk head out from underneath, then protect against the arm bar).
Post-seminar training was tough. Exhausted and sore from the triathlon on Sunday, I was not going to train. But the team is heading into Pans and a couple guys needed a big guy to spar with so I caved. It was a challenge. For sure. Did remarkably well against an experienced 180lb Master Purple and held my own against a very tough 230lb Adult Blue (who is on a Gold medal terror lately). I felt like puking after class. But I'm glad I stuck it out to the end.
Lost three fights at Grappling X this weekend. The fact that I lost isn't pathetic. But my performance was. Lost to the same guy twice in my division (double elimination tourney). Gassed. Beat me 4-0 and 7-0. I lost to him at Nationals last year in the absolute finals. It was a war and I barely lost. In fact, I was confident that had I had another minute I would have beat him. This time he destroyed me. I gassed. 7 min rounds. Miserable. I also lost in the absolute by arm bar in about 30 seconds. My opponent was substantially lighter (probably 170lbs) but lanky. He pulled guard and shot a triangle. I postured to defend the triangle and he took my arm. Ridiculous. I could tell my coaches were disappointed. Said my head wasn't in the fight. Maybe. I really don't know what happened. But all I know is I'm going to keep training and keep competing.
I'm struggling. Have been for a few months now. I rely on strength too much and my technique is sloppy. I have only a handful of techniques that flow. My promotion to Purple a few months back has granted me almost exclusive access to Purple through Black belts. I'm getting thrashed. Regularly. And on the rare occasion that I get work with lower belts, I find myself in trouble too often. Not only do I not see progress since Master/Senior Worlds last fall, I feel regression. Not that I expected things to be different. I'm just surprised that it is taking as long as it is to get used to the new belt. So, what's my game plan? Simple. Just keep showing up and keep training.