Life has kept me busy, and as usual, BJJ is the first thing to go. Been nearly a month since my last class.
But this weekend life plopped me in Vegas with some of the gang for a bachelor party. So, Tim, Alex, JR, Brady and I dropped in to the Alliance/Cobrinha associated gym there for a lesson. Hector and Tim have been friends for a while, and he seemed to be a great guy.
I had a few things working against me. It was 110 outside. I was up late drinking the night before. Time change. Sporadic attendance for the past few months. But I made it through class, slowly, but I made it. And we all got our butts whipped during the rounds. Tough, technical guys there. We still had a lot of fun!
My birthday was last week. Another trip around the sun completed. It may be in my head, it may be my reduced training schedule, or it may be age, but I’ve started to notice it. Primarily longer recovery time, but some other things too. Hard to quantify them.
My boys all had their first BJJ class on Saturday morning. They were all quite excited about it. They did some grip breaks and a simple takedown. I don’t think they did a single rep correctly, but they were still out there. It’ll do them all good if they stick with it.
For my class, I was grouped up with Meli, Morgan, Rafa, Jamie, and someone else. Mostly tough rounds.
After class, some stripes and belts. Little Bob got his purple. Popsicle and Zig got their browns. Good for them!
Nooner. We did the Circle of Death to warm up, I’m sure I’ll be feeling that tomorrow.
Lesson of the day was attacking the choke from the back, when the guy defends properly. When he defends and slides his head, the normal transition would be to mount for me, but if we have good grips, then we don’t want to give that up. We elevate with out top hook behind his knee to free our other leg, then drive into him, flatten him out and choke. We did a couple of variations.
Rounds were 5/5 starting on the back, starting with the other guy on your back. I had Dr. Tim. He escaped all but one time when I was on his back, and I escaped all but one time with him on mine. Tough to choke a guy who has good defense!
Random Thursday off…can’t miss out on jiu jitsu. It was nice to not have any time constraints due to work for a change too.
Before we started warming up, Charlie and I were talking about being tired of being “the nail” and getting beat on. He said something to the effect of being the hammer today. I responded back with “You can’t choose to be the hammer. The hammer chooses you.” Some days you have it, some days you don’t.
Lesson of the day was a half guard sweep/back take combo. From half guard, defend your head, duck under & grab their far knee. Work to our knees. They wizzer to prevent the back take, we push in, they push back, we duck under and sweep. Or we can Pete Townsend our wizzer’d arm out, take the back by stepping up and sitting into it.
For rounds, we did 3 minutes on top/bottom of half guard, three times. I had Derwin, Ryan, and Darren. I did kinda meh with Derwin, despite hitting a rolling back take at the buzzer from on top. Ryan and I were even, both getting some successes. And I ran through Darren. So, nail, even, and hammer today. Success always tastes good.
Normal warm up, then Brady made up the groups. I drew Wade, Dumi, Gil, and Richie. 20 minutes in, 5 out.
I had Wade first. We had a nice back and forth going for most of the round, me attempting to sweep, him attempting to pass, and neither of us getting our way. Mesfin commented later that he thought my guard work was great.
I had Gil next. And it was a 5 minute smashing that tweaked my wrist and shoulder both. My wrist got twisted up in his gi from the bottom of side control, then he switched sides and I couldn’t pull it out. Later he had be in a crucifix, and did a weird shoulder lock. I complained about young white/blues hurting me a couple weeks ago, and now I’ve gotta watch out for the browns too.
Dumi smashed me too, but very gently. His control is outstanding.
Richie was going slow all day and working on the bottom, so I played along too.
Nooner. We started out with some self defense drilling, bear hug from behind. We covered the basic escape, sit, break the grip, chop & turn. Then we did the anti-throw hook with our foot, to the knee bar.
Then we had a quick lesson on passing the guard when we’re broken down. This is very interesting to me, as I end up there a lot. First, establish some safety so we don’t get choked, grip at the armpits to prevent him from getting the right angle. Then re-grip, and do a punching motion to push his collar toward him, stepping up with the same side foot, we can stand and twist to open the guard. From there, we can either land in leg drag, or side control.
For rounds, I had one with Phil, Davis and Justin. Phil was lively, and I caught a knee in the nose for it. Davis and Justin are white belts, both struggling to find the balance between dead fish and hulk mode. I stayed safe, but I’m taking no chances with those kind of guys.
It was with some hesitation that I went to class last night. But I still went.
We had a small group, only 8 of us. Brady led the warm up and the class. We drilled the fireman carry take down. One of the more basic wrestling techniques, but one that I’ve never done.
For rounds, we split into big guys (group of 3), and small guys, the remaining five: Tim, Brady, Adam, Derwin and I. Tough group, but I did okay. I was shot by the end of it though, but I made it.
I thought I had a decent group on Saturday. Daryl, Rafa, Will, Larry, Little Bob and Nick. And, a year ago, it probably would have been a good group. Not so much on Saturday.
I can’t decided if it’s a lack of practice, a lack of stamina, or a combo of both. Heck, maybe I’m getting old. But I’m having a rough time lately. Nothing seems to be working for me very well. I’m constantly stuck in bad positions against everyone of my level or better. Against those that I should (in theory anyways) be tooling, I’m holding my own, but never really doing well.
And it’s frustrating. It’s probably foolish to think about what “should” happen, because there’s so much out of my control in that scenario. But it’s one of those things that can’t be helped.
Makes me happy that everyone is getting better. Makes me sad that I don’t think that I’m one of them. I’m sure it’s due to my lack of time to train, which really can’t be helped much.
Uff. My Saturday didn’t start well. My normal gym bag was in my car..which was in the shop. So I had neither my belt nor my mouth guard. I borrowed a belt from Tim, so I had one base covered.
We did our warm up, then Damian assigned the groups. I ended up with 3 young guys, plus Daryl and Tom.
First young guy is going hard, but was mostly controllable. Until an elbow hits me in the mouth and chips on of my teeth. First roll with out my mouthguard in years, and I chip a tooth. Wonderful.
Next round was with Daryl. He’s usually pretty relaxed and technical, and today was no different. Then I had a round off.
Young guy #2 is going hard. I’m standing and he’s sitting up for a single leg, and he’s leaning on my leg. He shifted against my trapped foot and I can feel my knee stretching. Rather than add to my day by blowing out my knee, I allow the take down, and spent the next couple of minutes in side control shaking my leg to make sure it wasn’t hurt.
Young guy #3 is next. And man he was going hard. Didn’t take him long to pass and start working a straight arm lock on me. I twisted out of it, but ended up with him sitting on my head and him still on my arm. He got the lock, but both my arms were trapped and he didn’t hear me yelling tap, so now my elbow is tweaked and strained. Swelled up nicely on Sunday too. Round off to shake it out, get a drink, and reexamine my knee.
Tom is next, and we both commiserated about these young bucks being strong and aggressive. I had another roll with #1 and with Daryl again to finish out the day
A quick warm up, then into the lesson of the day by Damian. From standing, we pop their feet up and across, and land in a leg drag position. We jack up their top leg, switch to double underhooks, and switch our legs. There, we can either land in side control, or if he tries to roll out, we ride his hip and take the back.
For rounds I had time for a 10 minute one with Dave. We were evenly matched today, battling most of it in half guard. Twice I tried to do a sweep on him, only to end up mounted. I need to diagnose that problem with Tim or someone.