Since last week I’ve realised that I can’t give the BJJ up neither can I just take the odd BJJ class when my Judo club is closed for three reasons.
1) I want to keep pace with the other beginners and if I didn’t train until the next holidays i.e. Christmas, I’d get totally owned by them.
2) There is so much to learn with ground fighting and taking what is essentially a Newaza lesson every week can only help my Judo.
3) I just enjoy it too much.
I’ve also purchased a BJJ gi from eBay as, with my BJJ class on a Tuesday and Judo on a Thursday I’ll struggle to get my gi washed and dried in time. Also my Judo gi has shrunk quite a bit and to be honest will also need replacing but I’m going to wait until I get my Judo yellow belt before I treat myself. The name of my blog will still remain the same though as I still consider myself a Judoka first and a Brazilian Jiu-jitsuka second.
I went to Tuesday’s class with one eye on the two day spa break that my wife and I were going on the next day so I was slightly conscious that I didn’t want to be sitting around the pool at the Spa or having a massage whilst covered head to toe in bruises and for that reason I wasn’t quite on the ball tonight, at least that’s the excuse I’m sticking to.
After another tiring warm up Ricardo showed us a really nice sweep/reversal (not sure what the difference is between a sweep or a reversal btw)
So you start on your back with Uke in your guard grabbing your gi near your sternum. To break Uke’s grip you use both hands and grab his gi around his wrist and pull hard upwards and then to your right side. Then your left arm grabs around Uke’s back and grabs their gi by their right shoulder and at the same time you move your head towards Uke’s left knee. You then slide your right arm under Uke’s left leg and lift them up with your right arm and pull them with your left arm thus ending up in full mount. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng7kjXO77Eg
I practised this with Oli and he seemed to like this one as it was one he hasn’t seen in Judo and he was clearly quite looking forward to trying this out at Judo sometime.
When Ricardo shows us a technique he gives us a good twenty minutes or so to drill it so by the time we go on to sparring we have all really got something that we know works and that we know we can make work. As usual when Ricardo walked over to check on me I had just swapped sides from doing this on my right to my left side which usually takes a few minutes to get the hang of as everything is in reverse and so of course I did it all wrong and he had to show me the technique again. The same thing happened last week so I’m not sure if he thinks I’m totally useless or just not trying.
We finished up with sparring but I didn’t manage to pull off a submission on anyone tonight and I left feeling a little deflated. In fact the title of this blog was going to reflect how I felt at the time but since I have had a few days to analyse things I realised that I rolled mainly against Blue belts and I’ve never managed to sub one yet. I only rolled with two white belts one of whom is a big stocky guy who has been training quite a while and I did manage to escape a few subs and try a couple of my own before finally being subbed twice but we rolled for about 5 minutes with each person so again that wasn’t too bad. The other White belt was Oli who is of course a Brown belt in Judo so again there is no shame in being submitted by him. In fact I did manage to sub Oli once with an Ude-garami or an Americana. I also tried a Juji-gatame (armbar) from my back a couple of times and got close to catching him but he was able to get out of it twice and then able to get side control. I did feel when rolling with Oli that I was maybe using too much strength at times which is a habit ’ve tried to get out of as it doesn’t really achieve anything in the long run. So maybe on reflection I was being a bit harsh on myself and next week I should maybe seek out some other white belts to roll with so I can check my progress a bit better.
One thing I did learn was that trying to use the spider guard that Ricardo totally dominated me with the previous week is not something that you can pick up just by watching YouTube video’s, especially not against blue belts.
Next week will be interesting as it will be the first time I will have trained both BJJ and Judo in the same week so I’ll see how my old body holds up. I should also find out in a couple of weeks if I have been successful in my application to run next year’s London Marathon and if I have then I really better start doing some serious running as at the moment I’m only running two miles on a Tuesday and 4 miles on a Thursday which is someway short of the sort of distance I should be running.
Oh and before I forget, I’ve been reading Forrest Griffin’s book “Got Fight?” I haven’t finished it yet but so far it is one of the wittiest and ‘laugh out loud' funny books that I have ever read. While it may not be a "how-to" guide for MMA, it certainly provides useful information peppered in amongst hysterical stories and anecdotes. Griffin's self-deprecating humour and unique writing style make for an extremely entertaining read that will you have you laughing until your sides hurt. I would recommend this book to anyone even vaguely interested in MMA or to anyone with sense of humour.