My lack of blogging hasn’t been due to a lack of training. I’m making time for a minimum of four to five Jiu Jitsu classes per week and have been tearing it up with my man, Ulric most Sunday mornings, although we had to miss our session this morning due to Ulric’s work schedule. Ulric and I have unofficially formed the two man team, “Blind Jalapeño”, and have loosely kicked around a few T-Shirt designs—my favorite being a caricature of a jalapeño wearing sun glasses with a white cane! So, if we go ahead and do this, I’m expecting my Jiu Jitsu friends to show us a little bit of love and part with some coin and buy the damn T-shirt!
We've started 7:30 a.m. classes twice per week for our summer schedule. I must say that while it's tough to get to the gym, it's awesome to train hard in the morning and have the whole day ahead of me! Professor Ze is still down in Brazil sorting out a few things with his visa, and I must say that in his absence, Ricardo’s really beginning to change things up. We’re playing lots of open guard working on a number of sweeps and he’s also working us through a few different open guard passes. I’m still faced with that ever-growing challenge that keeps dogging me—that being my transitions between closed and open guards as well as tying my submissions together as I transition between these two guards. Sweeps are feeling better, and I’m using the Gi a bit more aggressively to create tension when my partner is either kneeling or standing. We played some open guard no-gi the other day and my game totally sucks without the Gi grips.
Ricardo showed a reverse scissors sweep that is very basic and can be taken even from the feet. The trick is to keep on your side and create tension on the same side Gi sleeve as you pick a side, use your same side leg to hook inside the same side as your partner while using your opposite leg to scissor the outside of the leg that is being hooked.
I’m actually planning to cash in on two private lessons that Ze owes me when he returns and we’ll be focusing specifically on tightening up the most glaring weakness in my Jiu Jitsu game. One exercise that I’ve been drilling from the feet that is helping me tremendously is working with Ulric where we take turns with one of us pulling guard while the other guy pushes for the takedown. This really gets tiring when you drill this for an extended amount of time, but it’s really been helping me to defend against a Jiu Jitsu guy who might want to pull guard as well as boosting my confidence in pulling guard if I feel that I can’t take down a Judo player or wrestler who has better takedowns than me.
I’m really starting to feel much more confident on the feet when wearing the Gi. I’ve been working a great deal on breaking my partner’s Gi grips and establishing more dominant grips. My takedowns have always been fairly decent, but I’m really trying to take them to another level with the Gi. When I go from the feet no-Gi, I feel pretty good on the feet. I wrestled in high school back in the State of Iowa when Dan Gable was every high school wrestler’s hero, but I can always improve these takedowns as well.
I have a pretty busy work schedule this week, but still aim to get a minimum of three to four sessions in along with my Sunday morning work-out in with Mr. Jalapeño.
With Much Respect
Larry, the LTrain