Weight: 201.02 lbs (6 pounds heavier than I need to be—blame it on the awesome fish fry followed by the piece of carrot cake last night!)
It’s a mildly sad morning for “The Train” this morning, for due to inclement weather, RPBJJ staff did the responsible thing and cancelled class. The upside is that I got to sleep in and eat a less than healthy breakfast, but the downside is that my body feels really good, and I have all of this pent up energy! May have to settle for a good hard lift later this afternoon, but it’s not the same.
So, since I’m not training, I might as well be true to my new found blogging convictions and recap this past week of training. It all started last Sunday where my good friend Ulric and I had a private training session on some mat space that I have access to. Ulric’s a little smaller than me, but has amazing grips while going from the feet due to his background in Judo. So he gave me some pointers of achieving and maintaining dominant grips on the feet, and I showed him some defensive to, and passes for the Spider Guard that Ricardo had covered the prior week. The training session was Gi specific, and Ulric and I (as usual) had a very spirited “roll” to wrap up the training.
All this week, Ricardo focused on two throws from the feet and three positions for the guy in the top position of half-guard.
One thing that I love about the RPBjJ curriculum is that every class has a portion focused on throws from the feet, with the fundamentals class also focusing on self-defense. Yes, it’s true--Gracie Barra also believes in the importance of BJJ self-defense! He and Professor Ze (José Dias) spend about 15-20 minutes after our warm-ups working positions from the feet. Ze is especially proficient at teaching these positions due to his training in Judo. We worked both the “uchimata” and “osotogari”. I know I’m butchering the spelling of both throws, but both are set up from similar grip positions and I’m learning that the effectiveness of these throws are dependent upon:
1. One’s dominant grips
2. Breaking your opponents balance
3. Creating a “triangle” between your lead foot and your opponent’s other two feet
4. The actual footwork between stepping either between the opponent’s legs or toward the outside leg on which all of the opponent’s weight is placed.
5. Controlling the opponent when he hits the mat—Ricardo has a brutally vicious knee on belly which I can vouch for being his “dummy” as he teaches the rest of the class.
I’m feeling better with both throws, but I still need to really drill the footwork.
As for the top half-guard, he showed three submissions. One was a lapel choke when the guy playing half-guard tries to take your back. The other was an arm-in “DARS” choke using the Gi. A very cool detail that he showed was how to not just use the lapel, but reach over the guy’s head and use his Gi, or his belt for secondary leverage on the choke.
The third submission was a counter to the guy taking the Kimura from bottom half-guard. I already knew to trap the hip, and had been taught to stand up and turn this into an arm-bar. I learned a much simpler, quicker alternative than trying to stand up. Ricardo showed how to step your leg up closest to the guy’s face and use that leg to brace against the guy’s shoulder. You then trap his hip and the top arm going for the Kimura, break the grip, make sure your hands are locked, and rotate your shoulders towards the guy’s head. The end result is a very quick shoulder lock for the guy on bottom. Let me tell you that when done properly, it’s a quick tap.
I felt pretty good rolling, but need a few tougher rolls next week with some upper belts. I had a few of them, and I know that Ricardo mixes up the match-ups to give some of the new guys time with those of us who have trained a little longer, and I don’t mind this. But my knee, which has been bothering me for a few weeks, is feeling really good, and I really and up for charging hard in technical training this coming week.
Respectfully Submitted By:
Larry, The LTrain