Thursday, August 11, 2011

Clocked = Zinger!

Heavy PT yesterday. Shoulders, traps, neck, biceps very sore. Greg's been working to build the muscle groups around the shoulder for greater overall stability and strength. Calves terribly sore. My shoulder isn't strong enough to handle a full session of focused PT so we work other parts of the body between shoulder exercises. Yesterday was calves. Wowzers they hurt today.

Overall a good training session today. Very light warm-up and stretch before working technique. Slight variation of Tuesday's arm drag to back plus triangle option. Followed by one round of positional training (sweep / pass guard using technique of the day). I struggle with the arm drags. They just feel awkward.

Finished up with four 6-min training rounds. Merciful. I seem to handle the 6-min rounds much better than the 8-min rounds. Got three Blues before finishing the day with a Purple. First Blue and I are fairly evenly matched, although he was attacking most of the time today. I purposefully made myself vulnerable as I went for various x- and half x-guards. Had to test my survival skills and work escapes several times when things didn't go quite right.

Pretty much had the second Blue under control the entire time. Caught him with an arm bar, bow and arrow, and triangle from guard. The arm bar and bow and arrow came after nice spider and lasso sweep to guard pass to back/mount to sub combos. I was really surprised how the positions flowed. Played a bit of catch and release after that so I could try different attacks from mount.

Third Blue gave me a real hard time. He shut down my guard and the only time I ever got on top was after escaping some pretty ugly attacks. I turtled A LOT this round. Needed to catch my breath and I was simply trying to survive.

Shot for a half x-guard from butterfly set up when the Purple approached me in combat base. He floated a bit and I had an underhook on his right leg. He straightened and twisted away from me. As I started to stand up and put him on his back he posted on his hands and tried to kick his left leg over my head (roundhouse style). As I stood up to put him on his back and complete the sweep, his kick clocked me in the face. I saw it coming but couldn't block or duck in time. Felt an immediate zinger down my right arm leaving my thumb, index, and middle fingers tingly numb. I don't think I blacked out, but I definitely saw stars and collapsed. Fortunately the numbness went away pretty quickly and an hour later I don't have any neck pain. Pretty much tried to survive the rest of the roll. Turtled a lot again. Exhausted by this point. Escaped one arm bar attempt. Not so lucky the second time. He advised me to bridge and hip escape. I totally understand and wish I could. My mind tells my body to fight more. My body is mutinous. The muscles wouldn't do any more.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


That's what happens when you take two weeks off from full contact classes. Had LASIK a couple weeks ago yesterday. It went fantastic. Seeing better than 20/20.

I spent a nice week with the family at Lake Nacimiento near Paso Robles (central CA coast). It was a wonderful break, although I consumed far too many calories. Gained 6lbs in the process! It wasn't all bad though. I ran 7.5 miles (in three days) and swam a bit (~0.5 mile open water). I've run over 1 mile without stopping only four times in my life, each time with my dad. A beach run last year. The other three times this past week. Averaged 10 minute miles. Lungs felt good. Knees, hips and lower back another story completely.

PT yesterday morning and private with Michael Jr. yesterday afternoon. We reviewed basic techniques from the first four privates. I was soooo rusty that even Michael commented about me being a bit off my game. Yeah. I basically forgot four hours of private instruction. Not good. But that's why we did the review! :-)

Today was my first real class since LASIK. Warm-ups went well. Technique went well (arm drag to take the back from open guard plus triangle option). Focused training went well (sweep / pass the guard using the technique of the day). Training went terribly.

Four 8-minute rounds. Brown from Brazil calls me over and proceeded to manhandle me. There really isn't a better way to describe it. He caught me three times in the first minute alone. I think he hit his arm bar within the first 10 seconds. I can't count how many other times he caught me. I managed only two sweeps in the eight minutes and only towards the end. I'm guessing he either gave them to me or he was tired from kicking my arse. After the roll he complimented my open guard (I think...his english isn't the best. But I'm pretty sure it was a compliment).

Blue calls me over. Ok. Then a Purple calls me over. I politely declined because I already had a training partner. Professor Leo explained that when an upper belt calls me over, I'm supposed to oblige. Ok. After 14 months of training, I really hadn't encountered that etiquette before. No worries. I didn't have much for him but in general I really enjoy rolling with this particular Purple. He had me positionally dominated almost the entire roll and my left calf and both feet/toes cramped up badly. Gassed out at the 5-6 minute mark. Abysmal guard pass attempts (the couple opportunities I had). Tried to implement some of the stuff Michael's been showing me. No go. Things moving too quickly and I was thinking too much. On the bright side, I executed a slick improvised sweep from a pseudo x-guard. A couple good arm bar and back survival/escapes.

Professor calls me over. Oi vey. After learning that I'm supposed to oblige an upper belt's request to train, I HAD to decline. My feet were cramping like mad and I literally had no gas in the tank. He understood. After sitting out a round he called me over again. My muscles had essentially mutinied at this point. Cramping had stopped but I could tell it wouldn't take much to lock up again. A few seconds in I try to pull x-guard and trap a knee for a sweep Saulo shows in Revolution 1. Combination of my clumsiness and his immediate base collapse left me in a bad spot. He passed and mounted. Gave me multiple opportunities and ample space to stage an escape, but I was too tired. He dismounted and moved on. I "escaped" a couple times and ended up in open guard. Played a little. Attempted the x-guard to knee trap again and had a bit more success with the set-up; however, he squashed it before I could get the sweep. He caught me with an arm bar from the back. Thought I was going to escape but he consolidated the position and finished. After the session I heard him say, "You need to get open guard" (he has a thick Brazilian Portuguese accent). But he said it with a complimentary sort of tone. I asked him to repeat. This time I heard, "You will get open guard." He said I have a solid grasp for my experience and said I'll "get it" in time. Hopefully the rest of my game will follow...with more time. :-)