Last night’s training was very basic, but good. We worked on a couple of straightforward arm-bars and a choke from the “north-south” position, and I was able to get some questions answered about “pummeling” while on the mat as well as some proper adjustments to my “Gi” grips.
What really impacted me last night was some things that happened during our “rolling” sessions. I rolled with a few people for the first time—one guy is fairly new and a wrestler with good base, and the other guy has trained for a few years. He was training with our team when I began my GJJ training but moved away and trains out of the Akron Area. So I was quite stoked to train with him for a bit.
Regarding the new guy who is a wrestler, I’ve found that wrestlers often present me with some difficulties when they’re in my guard—a wrestler with a good base is fairly tough for me to sweep, so I’m always angling for the submission. But last night, I was pleased that I was able to sweep the wrestler and take his back with both hooks in.
Along that same vein, when training with the gentleman who has trained for a while, I hit a “star sweep” as he stood up in my guard, moved to side control, and submitted him with an arm-lock. I was SOOOOOOO happy about hitting that “star sweep”—a sweep that I’ve drilled a fair amount, but have never hit it “live”! For those readers who aren’t familiar with this sweep, it’s a sweep executed from your guard as your opponent stands to pass the guard. Simply pick a side, hook his ankle hooking from the inside, and use your opposite hand to assist you in backward rolling over the same side shoulder of your arm that has the leg hooked. In the past, my mistake has been that I lose my connection with the guy’s leg and either botch the sweep completely or end up in his guard. Last night, I was able to stay connected and keep the pressure on while advancing to side control where I got the “tap”.
Thirdly, I rolled with a blue belt on our team and was able to actually work in some techniques that we worked on in a class a few weeks ago where we open up the guy’s Gi when he’s in the closed guard and use the bottom edge of the Gi to secure some pretty tight chokes. I was able to control him in this position, but couldn’t finish him with the choke, but I did trap his arm with his Gi and finish with an arm-bar.
On a less positive note, I did a few stupid things yesterday where my guard got passed a few times--mistakes that were innane, and I do find that I'm starting to really get upset with myself when I get myself into predicaments due to carelessness and simply not adhering to the principles that I've learned. I suppose that getting upset doesn't really help me, but as I say "old habits die hard".
It’s finally beginning to sink in with me to really relax, not be so amped up and rigid, and try many of the riskier things that I’ve been drilling. I’ve really had to overcome the whole idea of putting myself into potentially risky situations to try new moves and series of moves with my partners because I really do hate to “tap”. I’m getting a bit better about tapping when I get caught while trying something new or untested by me, although old “redneck” habits do die hard! I feel that I’m beginning to understand the difference between Jiu Jitsu and just “grappling”, and am excited to try a few new tricks tonight. I still haven’t nailed that “monoplata” from the mount yet, but you can be damn sure that it’s coming!
Larry, the LTrain