Open Mat

Saturday was our usual open mat sparring session. I headed into class with a little trepidation. Being the “new blue belt guy”, I kind of felt like I had a target on my back. Every white belt is going to be gunning for me, and the other blues may kick the crap out of me harder than usual. As I was stretching, I found out I was kind of right….

Matt H, who I haven’t seen in months, crouched down in front of me and grabbed a leg, and started telling me how I’ve got to start watching out for straight ankle locks, now that they’re legal. At the same time, Derrick sit behind me and throws his hooks in as he starts wrapping around my neck. Great. Two on one! I manage not to get ankle locked, but do get choked. Still good for a laugh from everyone watching.

First up was Purple Belt Mike, another guy who I haven’t seen in a while. We do an extended light warm up roll. He’s so smooth is just boggles my mind. Everywhere I went, he was already there defending. I was constantly off balance, over extended, and (if he wanted to submit me) in danger. He did point out a couple of things though, so I got some knowledge to go with my frustration.

Matt H was next. Went about normal for me vs a blue belt, me tapping here and there. I’m still getting caught in that north-south kimura. Last was JP, making his triumphant return to the mat after his surgery in December. We mostly just played around. He wanted to experiment with some positional stuff, testing his body’s reaction to movement and pressure. He let me start in side control a couple of times. He’s a big fan of getting a deep collar grip from the bottom, which I never do. I mounted him the first time he did it, and he cross choked me…from the bottom of mount. I didn’t think that was possible. When he started tightening it, I thought I could open on of his arms, pushing his elbow up towards his head. I figured that would relieve the pressure….next thing I know he’s let go of it and is telling me “Good morning” Apparently I went to sleep for a couple of seconds. I think that’s the first time that’s happened. Lesson learned…it is possible to choke someone from within their mount.

I’m back on the paleo wagon now. Mostly anyways. A man needs beer once in a while.