Tag Archives: smackdown

Cracking the Shell

Lately our warm ups have been a little lax. Monday, we didn’t do one, we just jumped right into drilling.

Not so last night. It wasn’t quite a smackdown of old, but it felt like it. We’d run 2 minutes. Then do 20 reps of two different exercises. Then run. Then exercise, etc. We did partner lifts, arm drags, round the worlds, arm drags again, knee on belly, knee on belly with a duck under, and other stuff. Good hard conditioning.

The lesson of the night was attacking a turtle opponent. We started with the machete back take, then did a back take where we start from the side. Push their arms up and away, get a lapel grip and bait the turtle roll, post with your hand to stop the roll and secure the back. We also did a version where the roll is successful. Secure the seat belt grip and we can proceed.

We rounded class out with two rounds of rolling, starting in turtle. Restart after a submission, establishment of guard, or a reversal. JR and I had two good rounds together.

After class, both JR and I had a question for Damian. And that led to a long discussion about techniques to finish the armlock. Damian must of run through 20 different ways to break the defense and finish it, each a little different, and applicable to a different defense.

Saturday….Smackdown time.  Damian called me out before we started, saying that I hate these sessions.  I had to protest, I don’t hate them, but they’re not my favorite thing in the world either!

Things were going good, my side wasn’t hurting too badly.   Until we did some break-falls.  The first one, I must of landed just right, because it felt like someone had shot me.  I couldn’t finish the break-falls, but I did make it through the rest of it, slowly, but I made it.  Including such new tortures as the arms only belly crawl, and 30 pull ups.  Thankfully they were assisted, so we got both pull ups and squats at the same time, woo.

No class or drilling today.  We finished up the session with 5 people on the mat, and the rest of us rotating in.  Guy on top has to stuff a knee to get to half guard.  Guy on bottom has to sweep.  Winner stays, looser to the back of the line.  With my rib throbbing, I couldn’t muster much of an offense, so I got swept 3 times.  Including by new guy Russ, who just spazzed out on me.  That guy needs to calm down.  The last 10 minutes of class was the same thing, but with Damian taking the bottom spot vs everyone.  I think 3 people managed to get by him.  It turns out it was kind of a voluntary challenge, but I stepped up.  I might of been the only white belt to do so.  He quickly got me to open guard with sleeve control, popped one of my arms between his legs and rolled me over.  I didn’t have the gas to break the grips or do much.

I think I’m going to have to take some time off and let this rib thing heal up.  :/

Last night I was stretching and doing some body weight exercises.  Afterward, I got a little cramp in my lower back, and it kept going most of the night.  I was almost going to use it as an excuse not to go to class today, but ended up sucking it up, taking some ibuprofen and going.  I recall thinking that I could make it through class, unless Damian called for a Smackdown conditioning day.

And what happened?  You guess it, Smackdown.  Well, 3/4 of one anyways.  I didn’t die.  And my back quit it’s complaining too.

This morning we drilled the same around the shoulder armlock we did earlier this week.  I’m getting it down.  There’s one part that is hanging me up a little, when changing sides.  I’ve got a hitch in the movement, and sometimes end up sitting down on my own foot, rather than having it against my partner’s back.  Damian also ran through some more anti-defense moves, but they were a little complicated.  The main thing I absorbed from that is that if you’re move isn’t working, don’t force it.  And be willing to sacrifice the submission in order to maintain your position.

After class, Matt and I rolled.  The first one, he pushed in on me, and I stuffed him down and almost took his back right off the bat.  I ended up in side control and tried the armlock of the day.  Almost got it, but he rolled into me.  And rather than pursue a armlock I wasn’t going to get, I dropped it and popped back into side control.  He ended up escaping to my guard where I got a half collar choke.  We went again, and he ended up in my open guard.  I attempted a triangle choke, but he countered and ended up mounting me.  He went for the cross collar choke, and I defended.  At that point I realized I had control of his arm, and foot, and should just upa out.  So I did.  I posted and I was able to regain my guard.  We went back and forth a bit, before he got the cross collar again.

We chatted a bit afterward, and ran through the armlock of the day and some triangle choke stuff at half speed.  He’s a good guy.   I was happy to split with him and escape his mount.  Go go moral victories.

Another ass kicker of a conditioning class!  Oy.  All similar stuff.  Same panting and near-death experience, but I made it.  We finished it out with by being in a circle.  We’d do push ups together.  One guy would count off 5, then the next guy would, ect, until the circle was done.  So like 40 or 50 pushups.  Then situps.  Then leg scissors.

No lesson today, just 3 minute alternating rounds of light sparing.  Escape from mount, maintain mount.  Escape side control, maintain side control.  I was paired up with Ed, and we were both exhausted, so we took it easy and went light on each other.  Except he weighs 230.  Nothing light about having him put his weight on you.

Extended my membership to 6 months.  I think I’m crazy.

Things started off normally tonight. A slightly larger that usual crowd, 14 or so. Luke warmed us up. Strangely enough, I like this part of the class. Even if I’m a bit stiff or have an ache, afterward I’m ready to go. Must be that twinge of adrenaline that takes the edge off your aches and pains. I was kicking myself because I forgot a t-shirt, and ended up wearing my long sleeved one.

And aches and pains were just the beginning! Usually we’d dive right into the lesson of the night. But Damian put us through a 30 minute conditioning run that had all of us sweating, panting, and groaning.  Back and forth on the mat on all of the following: bear crawl (x2), frog hop, front roll, back roll, break fall, wheelbarrow walk (me and Ed), wheelbarrow/pushup, fireman’s carry (I got to do push ups instead), hanging guard sit ups (regular ones for me), and then double leg shoots. I was happy to make it through. I didn’t like being singled out and not doing the same routine as everyone else. Though honestly, I don’t think I could have.  :/

Really hating the long sleeved shirt now, drenched in sweat!

For the lesson, we worked a pass from butterfly guard. Kind of a variation on the stack pass, so the guy on the bottom really gets squished, twisted, and generally uncomfortable. Ed’s not a small guy either! Afterward, I guzzled my gatorade, and just took 5 minutes to relax. Rolled for position with Ed some, he complimented me on my progress. Did some of the same with Tim, but didn’t get anywhere with him. Tom, the new guy, and I did too, I think I  got 3 out of 5 vs him.

The fundamentals class was just 5 of us, running through Side Control 101. I got paired up with Tom, switching in and out vs Luke. I did good, getting smoother, though my simple sweep needs work.