Tag Archives: tm2014

Tough Mudder 2014

Thankfully we had no issues getting in or out of the site yesterday. Some runners on Saturday reported 2 mile long traffic backups getting to the site.

Registration was a hectic mess, but wasn’t too bad. Dropped my bag off and we wandered over to the starting corral.

The first wave left about 2 minutes after I arrived there, and everyone else started walking on the spectator’s path.

Waited 10 minutes, then moved from the starting corral to the warm up area. Warm up guy was pretty entertaining. After 10 more minutes, wave 2 went, and we moved up to the starting line.

The starting line hype guy is a hoot. He really loves his job. Somehow I ended up about 2 rows from the very front, with a herd behind me. As we started, my focus was on not being run over, but neither being pressured into starting too fast. I treated the run to the first obstacle as a warm up. My goal was to run the whole thing.

About 0.75 miles, was the first obstacle, Kiss of Mud, basically a belly crawl under wire through mud. Just enough to get everyone dirty.

Mile 1.2 or so, was the Pole Dancer. Was much easier than I expected, I made it across with no problem.

Mile 1.5 was the Mud Mile (which was the hardest one in 2012). The Saturday people helpfully left many hand and foot holds, so it was MUCH easier this time around. Saw my dad there, this was as far as the Spectators could go.

Course was mostly hunting/ATV paths, with a good chunk of sandy gravel roads. Much better footing than 2012. There were some parts that were very nice and shaded too.

At mile 2 was Warrior Carry, about a 100′ buddy carry. I lucked into a 3-some running just in front of me.

At mile 3 there was the Arctic Enema. And it was cold.

Shortly after was the Glory Blades, which was a new one to me. They were slanted towards you. I helped a pair in front of me over, then the next group behind me boosted me up.

Then the course split. First timers just ran. Repeat mudders got to go down a hill to a lake and do a lake barrel swim. Nice and cool. Until we had to run back up the hill. I started walking big uphills at this point.

We rejoined the first timers, and into the Quagmire, which was an oversized Mud Mile pit at mile 4.

We then detoured off of the hunting area and ran around a corn field. No shade and plenty of dust. At mile 5 we had the Berlin Walls and Devil’s Beard (a cargo net we crawled under) back to back. Helped a nice 5-some at the Walls.

At about mile 6.5, we had 2 close together. The Cage Crawl, and Walk the Plank. Nice to cool off again.

At 7.4 was Balls to the Wall, a rope assisted wall climb. Had the same 5-some with me as before.

At mile 8, Hold Your Wood was a nice break from the running. My knee was starting to ache a bit, but we were on the home stretch now.

We joined back up with the Spectators at Hanging Tough, and I spotted my family. Slipped on the ring and fell in the water, which my son helpfully reminded me of about 38 times later.

Jogged out a big loop, then came back to the Funky Monkey. Thankfully, the bars were not as slippery, and I made it across, despite the lady in front of me taking her sweet time and holding me up some.

I got to Everest, and was slightly dismayed to see it basically deserted. I know in 2012 that it seemed impossible to do solo. But I made it up on my first try.

Repeat mudders got to do Fire in Your Hole, which was a water slide with flames at the end.

Last up was the live wires. I made it about 10′ in before I got a huge zap which laid me out like a sack of potatoes. Barely got up and started moving before I got another one which dropped me back down. Crawled a bit, then stood up and ran the last bit with one more little zap for good measure.

All in all, much better than last time. Being solo was both good and bad. Got to run at my own pace, but lacked anyone to talk to.

Leg Attacks

I arrived at the gym last night in the middle of a torrential downpour. Bad enough that there were several of us sitting our cars, waiting for a break in the storm to run in. It came and we all sprinted in, still getting pretty wet. The rain made for some serious humidity.

I barely got changed before Damian drafted me to assist with the fundamentals class. I had to demonstrate the drop seoi nage throw a few times with Ron, and then roll with Blue Belt Tim for a bit. Haven’t seen him at a night class in a while.

Our warm up was…let’s just call it “extended”. We ran and shuffled, our usual stuff, with some sprawls thrown in for good measure. Then we did a 10 minute stretching and mobility routine. Most of us left little sweat angels on the mat. Damian then broke us into groups of three for a little wrestling drilling. Middle guy had to slap hands then break fall and stand up, then rotate 180 to face the other guy who would swipe at his legs, simulating an attempted takedown, and he’d sprawl. Stand up, rotate 180, repeat. Next drill was shoot a single, rotate, shoot a double, repeat. Next was swipe, sprawl, then immediately get up and shoot a double on the other guy. It was exhausting.

Lesson of the day was a lasso sweep, for when they stand up. It was similar to the dump sweep, except you reverse shrimp in, insert your knee, and basically trip them over your torso. We started just going to side control, but then added a triple leg attack…all of which are illegal in most competitions until brown/black belt level. Too high of a chance for injuries. We did a reverse heel hook, a toe hold, and then a knee bar. We went slowly and carefully. No need to blow out someone’s ACL.

We switched partners and did it again. I was able to do everything with JR pretty easy. But then I got Little Seth. And couldn’t get the sweep to work at all. It’s not like he was resisting much, maybe he just had better balance? Damian helped me some, but I still had some issues.

We only did one round of sparring, as it was already time for class to be over. I had Little Seth. Went okay for a few minutes, but then he swept me over the top of him, using his knee on my sternum as a lever. I heard a few little clicks and couldn’t breathe for a bit. Hurt to move, breathe, rotate or pretty much do anything, so that was the end of my round. Better this morning, but still pretty tender.

Squeezed in two runs over the holiday weekend. Mudder is two weeks out. I feel mostly ready, as long as this sternum thing clears up.

Fi Seminar

Fi spent nearly all of the seminar showing us many, many ways to attack someone in the turtled position. While I loved the material, he completely destroyed one of my go to positions. I can never turtle again…everyone else knows 38 ways to beat me.

All of the techniques we learned started with establishing the seat belt grip. We first cut our near knee into them, while rolling back, and establishing back control. If they resist, we step over, roll the other way, establish back control.
Or, we can sprawl and walk out to north/south, then crawl back on them, all while maintaining our grip, and establish back control.

We practiced the ‘chair sit’ back control, as Ryan Hall calls it. They attempt to escape, we maintain our grip, go to a knee pillow like position, sit across our butt (not back!), and reestablish back control.

Then we did a neat series on going from turtle to a crucifix. Get your seat belt grip, then insert your near knee in between their knee and elbow. Flare their arm out, then step over with your other other leg and drag their arm back and triangle it. Then roll over their head and, collar choke, wing choke, or armlock with your legs. If they resist, you end up in a back control like position, where their have one arm behind their back. Collar choke, or rear naked choke.

The last technique we did was a DLR or berimbolo pass. It’s similar to the technique that I looked up to use vs Cheng. Pass both of our arms under their far leg, then sprawl and get a lapel grip. Not a complete sprawl, as you want to keep your near knee in, with your foot on the ground to prevent them from re-guarding. You end up in a leg drag like position.

Over all, a pretty good couple of hours. At the end, both Long and Erik got promoted to purple belt. Well deserved.

Ran on Friday night and Sunday afternoon, about 5 miles each. Felt pretty good both times, no knee issues. Cold water bath afterwards is both a blessing (in the long run), and a curse (in the first 20 seconds). Mudder is 5 weeks out.

Open Mat

Saturday’s open mat was interesting.

I started off with Sarah, moving and warming up. Next up was JP. I started off standing and passed to knee on belly. I ground it into him a bit, and he tried to bench press me off of him. And by doing so, his arm was sticking straight up in the air. Damian is sitting 10′ away, and starts yelling to the effect of “You better take that arm!”. I was already in the middle of sitting for the armlock when it happened. JP defended, and now Damian is shouting at me: “Break it! Tear it off!” and the like, in an uncharacteristic way. I know he’s not seriously telling me to break JP’s arm, but it was a bit jarring. Took a bit, but I did break JPs defense and finish the armlock. In another bit of unusualness, Damian showed JP where he went wrong in his knee on belly escape. That might have been the first time I wasn’t the one being corrected!

I also had rounds with Purple Belt Matt. More footlocks, though I did escape a few. Wade and Renato too.

Then Damian grabbed me for a round. It’s been a while since we rolled. It’s really mind boggling how helpless it feels going with him. I never have space to move, my arms and legs are always out of proper position, there’s no leverage to escape, move, or defend. It’s just a slow (if I’m lucky), or fast (usually) slide from neutral, to bad, to very bad, to tapping. He foot locked me twice, but a different one that Matt used, one that I don’t know the escape to. And he knee barred me twice, once from side control, once after I rolled to escape an omoplata. He showed Tim and I them after our round. Same attack, just two different entries. He told me he wanted me to start playing with footlocks and kneebars. I’ve tried footlocks here and there, but kneebars are illegal in most tournaments until brown belt level, so I’ve only ever drilled them.

He then paired me up with Paul for a double round. I was pretty tired at this point, so I spent most of that 18 minutes being squished and in bad positions. But not being submitted.

Went for a longish run on Sunday. Lungs felt good. Knees started to ache after a while. Could have kept going if they weren’t hurting. Mudder is 6 weeks out.

Intermediate Class

A week off of jiu jitsu makes me antsy. And now the schedule has changed some too. Monday & Wednesdays, we’re doing the Alliance Intermediate class rotation.

We did a brief warm up, then got right into some self defense work, punch defense while on the ground. It’s basically knee shield guard, while holding your head for protection. Then, if/when they get frustrated and stand up, you can kick them away, and stand up in base.

Or, you could rock up into half butterfly, which is what we did for the rest of the class. You can stand from there, do a basic butterfly sweep, or if they post out with their leg, you can hook that and sweep too. Or go to x-guard. Plenty of options.

We did three 7 minute rounds to finish class. I had Shane, Renato, and Brady. Did okay with Shane. Did great with Renato, getting off an arm drag to a pendulum sweep, and being mounted or having his back for a good part of the round. Survived (mostly) with Brady. Felt like I was moving pretty well.

Did another ~3 mile run on Sunday. No Tabata this time though.

By Special Request

I was stiffer than expected yesterday. Been a while since I’ve ran, and I felt it. I think I’ll try a longer and/or colder soak after my next one.

Our warm up was mercifully short. But we spent an extended amount of time drilling some judo throws. We started with osoto gari. Open their arms, jab step in, then turn them while kicking your leg back and taking theirs out.

What if they anticipate the throw and step back? We shuffle step in and then foot sweep them with the ko soto gari.

Ron, Officer Jason, and I rotated while we drilled.

On Saturday I put in a technique request to Damian. We spent all of last week covering half guard passes, but didn’t address two variants that I struggle with, the knee shield and half butterfly. So, that’s what we did last night.

The knee shield pass was very slick. It starts normally. Break grips, weave in our hand and pin his bottom knee down. Either get a collar grip, or pin his bottom hand down too. Then the magic…pressure in against his knee shield, he’ll push back, and we switch our hand from pinning his knee to cupping his top thigh. We release the pressure and basically leg drag that knee out of the way, and establish head control. We can finish the pass a variety of ways.

For half butterfly, we pinch his butterfly leg, pinning it to ourselves. Then we grip his other knee and shuffle towards the butterfly hook. Grip the butterfly leg at the knee, and dive for head control while kicking our leg up and over. I don’t “get” why this one works, I think I’ll have to play with it.

For rounds, we did 3 nine minute rounds. I had Ron, Shae, and Gilberto. Did okay with Ron. Threatened Shae some. Struggled a bit with Gilberto, but had some moments. He told me after class that my defense and control was good, but he’d catch me during the transitions between positions.

Open Mat Saturday

Apparently the lowish attendance in class this week didn’t continue into the weekend. It was a zoo on Saturday, I counted 30 people at one point.

Ron was there, and it’s been a long time since we’ve trained much together, so we spent three rounds right off the bat. Some goofing around, some hard rolling, some experimentation. We both commented that the other “doesn’t roll like they used to”, or have some new tricks. Guess that’s a function of both of us getting better, and not training together as much as we used to.

I also had some decent rounds with Renato, Blue Belt Tim, and Paul. I felt okay, but wasn’t in the same groove as on Wednesday.

In other fitness news, the weather has FINALLY gotten decent outside. So I went for a run on Sunday. 15 minute jog to warm up, then 8 rounds of 20/10 second tabata sprints, then a 15 minute jog to cool down. I also did a 5 minute cold water soak. Tough Mudder 2014 is 15 weeks away.