Defending at All Costs

Oy. The universe has conspired to keep me from getting to class with any regularity recently. Sick. Hurt. Family. Dog. Work. Home. Some combination or all of the above. I have been keeping up with Crossfit pretty steadily though. And still 85% paleo. Lost my 20th pound this weekend.

But Saturday is jiu jitsu time. And apparently it was for everyone else too, because we had a packed house. I did twenty minutes or so with Andy, who trains in Woodbury. We started slow, but got going pretty well by the end. I really need to figure out and fix my kimura from side control weakness. It’s easily my #1 method of getting tapped. Our last roll was back and forth for a while, mostly with me on the defensive. However, being on the defensive is better than tapping…and eventually I defended long enough to improve my position and cross choke him from guard.

Next up was Sarah, who was in town on Spring Break. I took the opportunity to practice my armlock from guard and side control escaping. Mostly just moving. Sometimes I just feel so clumsy, like I’m floundering, even though I know that I’m smoother than I used to be.

I took a couple minutes to catch my breath and grab some water….and then Damian called me out. Rolling with him is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great because he’ll point out mistakes and remedies. It’s horrible because it’s a little frustrating. Always humbling though.

We started, with me in his guard. I did the Fabio break, which elicited a “Good”, which was a good start. I stumbled getting to my feet, which allowed him to get his feet on my hips, which is bad. Plus he had both my sleeves controlled. I circled them to the inside of his thighs and started to work towards breaking out of his spider guard. I HATE being in spider guard. I don’t like being strung out. I sprawled and tried to shake a foot of my hip, and did. He let go of one sleeve, and I tried to spin around his Del La Riva guard, failed, and he armlocked my other arm. He released it, pointed out that my grip with that hand is useless, and that I just need to defend instead. So we did. I escaped the armlock, stood back, and Bullfighter passed his open guard. He tried to brace my hip as I came around, but I correctly (I think) led with my shoulder and got to side control. I started to go with head and arm control planning on mounting, but his arm was wide open so I underhooked and started to go for the walk around armlock. As soon as I stepped, he dropped his elbow to the floor to defend. I paused for a second to think, and he walked me through the “Superman” straight armlock that Fabio taught us during the seminar. I had forgotten about it.

We restarted with me in his guard again. He quickly trapped one of my hands in his armpit, and I knew it was in trouble. The rule of thumb is to pull out my arm, elbow first, so I was trying to do so, and he used the opportunity to lock up a kimura. He didn’t tighten it, but I couldn’t defend it because of the placement of his foot on my hip. Normally, I’d post up my opposite foot to create some space, then slide my free hand between us to grip my own troubled arm and pull it free. But because of his foot, I was kind of flat, and there wasn’t any room. Again the lesson was: Defend first.