Wednesday, November 23, 2011

12 Rounds

Started 12, five min rounds after a 15min warm up. Finished with 4, six minute rounds. I sat out four rounds. Pretty intense training. Got a round with Master Saulo. He let me play a bit of open guard. Felt like I *almost* had him off base a couple times, but no go on the sweep attempts. He squashed me pretty good most of the time and finished with two arm bars. Got caught a couple other times by smaller but younger Blues. Caught a couple Greens and a White with arm bars from the sweep off a pass. More validation for the bread and butter combo. Caught a couple Blues with arm bars and one with a front gi choke from closed guard. Escaped side turtle twice to top position via a new move I'm working on that uses my hip flexibility. Very tough to describe the escape but I may be on to something... Stay tuned. Even forced myself to play a fair amount of top game. Got swept a few times as a result...but also had a few successful passes. I was most impressed with my stamina. No clue where it came from, but I felt like my game kept getting stronger the longer I trained. About round nine I felt truly great. Kinda shocking.

Gym closed through Sunday. PT on Friday. Will try to run a few miles this weekend. Back on the mats Monday.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bread and Butter

Overheard a Purple explaining to a frustrated Green after training Saturday that he shouldn't be frustrated by my spider sweep off a pass because "It's just something he's good at..." The spider sweep off a pass is clearly my bread and butter, but I've had similar comments about my lasso, knee push, and x-guard sweeps. Most upper belts can see it coming and squash it, but every once in a while I get lucky.

Saturday's sweeps were a little more special because I was thinking combos. I knew I'd get the sweeps so I was refining the landing and transition to top to facilitate a quick pass or sub. For example, got an arm bar immediately from the sweep off a pass. Controlled the sweep to allow his momentum to bring me up. Kept the spider sleeve up and tight. Fell back into the armbar. I've been thinking about that combo for a couple months now after seeing a similar attack on a Royler Gracie comp vid. But I've struggled to control the sweep on the opponent's way down to give me the proper momentum into the attack. Saturday was the first finish. Also had a few sweeps to x-pass to knee on belly. I struggled to maintain knee on belly, advance, or finish, but was pleased with the combos that got me that far.

Saturday wasn't all hunky dory though. A 160lb Blue tore me up. My shoulder still aches from his sweep from side control via kimura attempt. His escapes from side control and mount are off-the-charts better than equally sized and experienced training partners.

Light training week. Family in town. Gym closed Thurs-Sun. Will probably only make class Wednesday night.

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Gnarly Old Guy noticed I've been off the grid lately and encouraged me to post "something"...ok, thanks for the nudge. :-) Here's a little something.

I've been training. Consistently too. 3x per week. Trained in three States since my last post. Nagging neck problems. Submitted a Black Belt (bow and arrow, although I think I caught him totally off guard and I doubt I'll get away with that again anytime soon). Game still mostly lazy. Top game makes me exhausted and turtle is my security blanket. Same 'ole same 'ole.

Physical therapy is transitioning to strength and conditioning. Shoulder feeling 100x stronger and more stable than since pre high school surgery. That's going strong at 2x per week. Did 9 pull ups today. 4 mos ago I could do maybe 3. Finding some time for a 2-3 mile jog once per week. In short, sweating up a storm 6days per week. But I'm still gaining weight. 220lbs in light workout clothes this am. hmm...

Some Details - Wish I Could Write More, but I'm Exhausted...and Lazy:
Relative got married in Austin a few weeks back. Found time to stop by Georgette's school for a Sunday morning class. Georgette was out of town, but I met some great people and learned a couple new side control escapes. Rolled with a senior Purple for about 10mins after class. He's a bit taller but 15-20lbs leaner. Good time. Swept him a couple times. Passed guard once. He caught me twice.

Headed to New Orleans after Austin. Spent a week there. Tweaked my neck a bit between the hotel bed and plane ride. Kept me from training at NOLA BJJ as much as I would have liked. Had some solid sessions though. It was good to see everyone.

Competed at the Louisiana Open on Nov. 5th. I missed weight by 1.5lbs. Fortunately they fudged the brackets last minute so I could compete in the Ultra. Only one competitor in that division. A monster of a man. At least 6'6" and 260lbs+. I was a bit freaked out.

Before my Division fight, a tournament organizer asked if I would fight in the Adult Super Heavy. Apparently there wasn't anyone to fight the sole registrant for that division. I only missed weight by 1.5lbs and my opponent was at least 5yrs younger than me so I guess they figured it was even. Fight started ok. I could tell he was strong. Very strong. Take down set ups were uncomfortable. Decided to pull guard. Pulled De la Riva. Quickly transitioned to knee push. Got the sweep (2 pts me)...but he immediately arm dragged me and I bailed to turtle. Advantage him. He spent at least 3 minutes trying to establish a second hook. I couldn't shake the guy. He was so strong. Had me pinned in turtle. He finally got the second hook (4 pts him) which, believe it or not, gave me an opportunity to escape. He scrambled and I was back in open guard. Established lasso and swept him (2 pts me). Began working a pass as time expired. I lost by advantage. Looking back, I should have forced my way free from turtle. I couldn't find a technical way out, but it's a tourney. I could have exploded and forced something. I don't know...

Licking my wounds, I turned my attention to Goliath. Wowzers. Big dude. After a bit of hand fighting I decided to ... Wait for it ... Wait for it ... Attempt a double leg. Of course!!! I shot from too far away. Timing all bad. He sprawled and smashed me down. To my great (and pleasant) surprise, I rolled out to recover guard. I don't remember all the details, but I believe I swept him, passed guard, mounted. He upa'd. I swept him again, passed, and mounted. Time expired. I won 15-0. Wasn't really expecting that.

To my great dismay, no one signed up for the Master Open Division. Apparently the silver medalist from the Master Super Heavy signed up for the Adult Open division while I was fighting the giant. By the time I realized no one signed up for Master Open and another Mater was allowed to fight in the Adult Open, it was too late. They had closed the brackets and wouldn't let me in. Boo.

Competing is always good. Win or lose, I learn. If I learn, it's a win. To play is to win.

Training since the tourney has been ok. Consistently getting my butt handed to me by my UNIJJ training partners. Can't wait to take another beating tomorrow morning.