Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Assessing the Damage

I got on the scale this morning and I figure I put on about 5 pounds over the last week or so. Not great but not terrible. We had class on Thr and I covered BJJ. There was an interesting mix in class on Thr, actually it was my first all girls class :) AQ was invaluable as a training partner for one of the newer girls to the club. We also had a new face in Judo, both very positive signs.

I have not trained as hard as I wanted to the past week, but I got a few good days in.

I got a garage workout in over the weekend (which was a killer), no class on Mon due to the weather (but lots of shoving), pre-class kettle bell workout on Tue followed by Tue BJJ and a light kettle bell workout Wed night. As I start heading into the new year I need to really up the intensity of my workouts to get ready the the tournaments I want to do. Getting to more classes is going to be extremly difficult so I need to make the classes I do get to really really count. I also need to buckle down on the off night training routine and make it a MUST due on non-class nights.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tue Training

I had 4 people in class on Tue including a cameo appearance from an old friend that would be a strong addition to the club. Hopefully he continues to come on a regular basis and gets back into the game. I was also very happy to see Lori in class. BJJ will help her overall game. She is aggresive and has good instincts, we just need to polish a few things. She also provides a much needed girl to guy ratio. I had her working with Sarah most of the night and Sarah did a good job helping her through a few sticking points. Hopefully the new faces from last night will stick and some of the irregulars will join the ranks of the regulars. We could have a really nice mix of size, rank and gender if I can get everyone in on the same night.

Onto class, I did a quick review of the double lapel choke from closed guard, then moved on to the scissor sweep followed by the scissor sweep to triangle setup. Overall the class did well with it and saw how the three different positions tied together. The scissor to triangle setup was the most difficult of the three positions but I am glad I got it in and for the most part they did well with it. I might be teaching this Thr, if I do i will show the hip bump sweep series. I want to get the hip bump sweep in now because you need it as plan B to the scissor sweep when the person is leaning backwards and you cannot get the off balance to the front.

I like to show positions and moves in a logical order and this is a perfect example of various moves and positions that naturally flow into one another.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mon Marathon

I woke up this morning feeling every bit of Sun's workout, yesterday's lunch time training and ALL of last night's BJJ/Judo classes. It was the good kind of soreness and it reminds me of the work I have to do to get ready for the upcoming tournament session.

During class last night Ray showed some fundamentals and I helped one of the newbie's through the moves. The newbie did one Judo class over the weekend and this was her first BJJ class.

Side note - we need gi pants that fit skinny people or a pair of white sweat pants (no offense Ray, but she was swimming in your old gi pants).

Class was good and it is always good to review the fundamentals. I think for some this may have been the first time some of the moves were broken down with such detail. For me, it always helps to be reminded of the finer points so it was helpful all the way around. I will also use yesterday's closed guard gi choke as my segue into tonight's scissor sweep class. I think it helps if people understand why the fundamentals are so important and how they can used to set up the next positions.

Training was good, I had a great set with Ray. I started from a bad position and was able to work back into the game. I hit a sweep with a second effort but I dont think he would have gone over if he was not already run down from the kettle bell class before hand. After I got the sweep I tried to press the action but I couldnt make anything happen. I got close to points but he defended every effort. It was a really good set for me despite losing by a lopsided score. I will have to ask AQ to up the intensity of the next kettle bell class :)

Good set with Peter, I got a lazy when I was in his half guard and he hip bumped me over. He is progressing quite nicely.

Also had good sets with Lex and Sarah. Sarah keeps going for the scissor sweep and keeps making the same mistake. I keep promising to do a class on it and I keep not getting around to it. ---> I will be sure to cover the position tonight and point out the key detail of the sweep that makes it work. <---- (Shameless, unfair, not nice way to boost class attendance? Yes, but what can I say.)

Fun set with Lex as well. He had a good attempt at moving into x-guard but I was able to stop it by grabbing head control. Lex....STOP GIVING UP HEAD CONTROL!!!!!

Judo Class
Ray put us through some tough drills working on speed and conditioning. He pushed us but didnt over do it. I think the pace and drills were just right for where the class is right now conditioning wise. No doubt the drills will get more difficult and more intense as we get closer and closer to tournament time. I had a good standup set with Ray and others. I didnt score at all against Ray, but I stayed aggressive the whole time and got some good attacks in. I was also happy with being able to do all three randori sets. I was tired coming into BJJ and exhausted after the drills so I had to knuckle down for randori.

A Dangerous Habit

I think it has been 2 or maybe two and a half years since I got hit with MRSA. For those of that dont know what MRSA is you need to read up on it. MRSA is basically a super strong antibiotic resistant infection. Usually starts as an infected pimple around the hind quarters (but can be anywhere on the body). The infection is often found in the grappling arts because of the close body to body contact.

My do I bring this up? Well it has come to my attention that some people in our gym (guys and girls) are leaving their Gis at the gym to "air out" rather than bringing their gear home to be washed. Not only is this gross, but it is dangerous. MRSA is no joke, when I got MRSA I was in my early 30s and in prime physical condition. I was laid up in the hospital for over a week, out of training for a few months and I still have a hole in my leg from where the doctors had to cut into the infection to let it drain. I am not talking about a pin hole either, the scar is about the size of a half dollar now, but at the time the infection the area was the size of a cantaloupe, the hole was the size of a dollar coin and about 1/2 inch deep. I caught the infection early because I knew what to look for, but death from MRSA is absolutely NOT unheard of so dont F-around with it. There are other skin infections that are less dangerous but unsightly and annoying that no one wants either.

Hopefully I have made my point. It is not just about how much YOU sweat during class, you are rolling with everyone else in class too. You might not even get an infection, but your Gi could have something on it that you pass to someone else next class.

A note on ring worm:

I know someone that INSISTS they are immune to skin infections. Well the fact is no one is immune to ring worm because it is not a virus it is a fungus. Your body might be able to fight it off because your immune system is strong that day, but it does not mean you are immune. It just means you were a carrier for the short period of time when you HAD ringworm and didnt know it. To put it another way, saying you are immune to ringworm is like saying you are immune to bear attacks because you dont get attacked by bears. Sorry it just does not work that way.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lunch Time Workout

I got my lunch time workout in today and I was pleasantly surprised by how well I did. I will probably be dragging during tonight’s class, but I have a starting point to build on.

Garage Workout

I got a desent workout in yesterday. My garage is a detached garage with no heat or electricity so it was pretty cold. I have been slacking on my workouts lately and it really showed yesterday. I am planning on hitting as many tournaments as possible in 2011 so I need to get back in fighting shape. I thought about waiting until the new year, but why wait? I figure if I start back on the workout path now I can knock of a few holiday pounds before I put them on. there are also a few tournaments in Jan and early next year I want to hit so I might as well get a jump start.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Late to my own class

Last Tue I was getting absolutly overwhelmed with work and a "THE SKY IS FALLING" disaster that took an unexpected 3.5 hours to work through. At 3 one of the big dogs asked if I could review some info with him at 5. Even if I could get in and out of there in 10 min I knew I would be late to class. I got Ray to cover for me, but I dont like being late to my own class it really sets a bad example. As it turned out the meeting got moved up to 4:30, but took 40 min so I was still late :(

On the bright side I accepted a NEW JOB!!! I am still working for the same company but I will be in a different role starting Jan 1. This new position will be much more focused on data mining and report building with (hopefully) much less time dealing with ridiculous BS. I am excited and a little nervous at the same time. I am the type of person that needs to switch things up every once in a while and this change was long over due. I dont think this will impact my ability to teach class as there is very little travel invovled but there could be some late nights and that could effect my ability to get in and train. We will have to see how everything plays out, but I am excited no the less.

When I walked in I saw my buddy Mat, Peter and Sarah were already there and Ray was showing grip breaks from the "almost on" straight arm bar. Once I changed and taped up Ray turned the class over to me. I decided to pick up where he left off. I quickly reviewed a few other grip breaks and the theory behind falling toward the legs vs falling toward the head. My preference is to fall toward the head. I also covered my favorate grip break which I consider the answer to all the various grips but one.

After grip breaks we did sets of attacking the back followed by randori sets. It was a good training session but my head was not in the game. Work turned my brain into absolute mush.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12/7 Tue Class

A very small class on Tue. I think some of the regulars have finals and what not at school so that could explain the light attendance on Mon as well. As 6 o'clock rolled around I was a little disappointed b/c I was the only one in the gym. I to take advantage of the time alone and do a kettle bell workout in the front lobby. I got lots of looks from people walking bye. I figured a little free advertising doesnt hurt. I felt a little weird at first. I workout at the gym all the time, and I run through the neighborhood all the time so why was doing a kettle bell workout in the lobby any different. I am not really sure, but regardless it felt a little weird at first. Perhaps some kind of cross between self consciencness and ????. Not really sure I could place my finger on it but I have certainly doen much much much more embrassing things then working out fully clothed. Anyway I got dress and ready to leave at 6:30 when Peter walked in. I decided to put the Gi back on and give him a class. 6:30 has been his usual time the past few weeks due to his work schedule so I think he got there as soon as he could. We reviewd the half guard sweeps that I consider the "basics" then moved on to the more fancy sweeps. In my head they are my 1,2,3 go to half guard sweeps from the more advanced series. He seemed to get number 1. 2 and 3 will take more partice, which is exactly what I told him would be the result before I showed him any of the sweeps. I was statisfied with his progress and he will be ahead of the game the next time I how the 1,2,3 combination. I stress that he should use the basic series as his " go to" series until he get more comfortable with half guard. Peter is very coachable and I am glad to have him.

Monday, December 6, 2010

12/6 BJJ - Judo


Small class tonight for both BJJ and Judo. I was a little disappointed by the BJJ turnout, I was really hoping to have all the Tue regulars plus some of the Mon night regulars. As it was it was just Mike and I for the first part of class with Peter showing up late. I stuck with the plan and showed half guard sweeps. Since the class was so small I was able to cover a lot of matterial in great detail. Both Mike and Peter did really well with everything. We started with the basic underhook back grabs and underhook sweeps by shooting in deep and grabbing the foot. Like I said they did really well with everything so I gave them a sneak peak at the fancier half guard sweeps we will be covering tomorrow. At the beginning of class Mike expressed an interest in competeting at various BJJ tournaments. I support the idea and I think all the BJJ regulars could do well in the tournament setting.

Hopefully I will get a better turnout tomorrow. I am going to start upping the conditioning aspet of class. I want to start getting everyone (including myself) in competition shape.


Also a small class, but with one new comer. He was a green belt and said he did some Judo at Penn State. Alma showed Tai Otoshi, I showed a few basic tutle reversals the person on the bottom can use to turn the tables on the top player. After I showed the reversals we did some turtle attacking and I saw the technique use 3 times! I really love it when I see a TOD (technquie of the day) and I can not remember the last time I saw 3 TODs in one D.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Catch up Post

Nov 29 - Mon BJJ and Judo, nothing particular of note both were good classes. While watching some of the mat work I noticed some people having trouble with the mount so I decided the Tue class would be mount escapes.

Nov 30 - Tue Class - The orginal plan for the Tue class was mount escapes. I had a brand new student show up and I thought about changing things up but decided against it. Mount escapes is often a first class and the elbow escape was the primary mount escape I was planning on showing so I decided to stick to the plan. Things worked out well, the new student did fine and the rest of the class started getting the hang of things. I showed the bridge escape, elbow escape and ankle scrap escape. I emphasized the elbow escape as the best option but I recongize most will use the bump n roll until they get stuffed and need to figure out a plan b. Oldly enough when we started doing simi live training most had the best sucess with the ankle scrape. The ankle scrap is ok, but also has a low ceiling. Unfortunantly the elbow escape is really hard to make work until you get good at it so the position can be frustrating at first. All in all I thought everyone did well with it and in future classes I am going to work the mount position into the class schedule on occasion.

Dec 2 - Thr was a good class but I was not "feeling it". I am not sure why not, Judo was fun I just did not have my fighting spirt. I think all the BS at work was really getting me down. There are lost of potential explainations, my elbow was really hurting me, my knee was bothering me, the mats were a little cold but all of that is really crap. I think work is effecting my more than I like to admit. There are a lot of big tournaments I want to do next year so I need to snap out of it.

Next weeks plan - I am teaching on Mon and Tue. Since I have both days back to back I am going to show some half guard stuff. Half guard is something that takes a lot of classes and a lot of practice. My plan is to show the fundementals on Mon and the cool stuff on Tue. I know I will have more people in Mon's class and probably only beginners in Tue class but I cannot show the cool stuff without showing the fundemental sweeps first. The fundementals are key, without them the cool moves just dont work.

For the more advanced students reading this post, come to class on Mon AND Tue it will be worth it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Friday open Mat

This is going to be a long one so strap yourself in.

One of the Black Belts that has been visiting our club on Thr invited us to his club on Friday for open mat training. Since I had the rare day off I decided to take advantage. I had not met the instructor before but I was immediately welcomed onto the mat when I arrived at the club. Before arriving at the club I was not sure what to expect. Sometimes when you go to a new club you have a bull's eye on your back. I am happy to say everyone at this club was respectful, welcoming, sportsmen like and all around fun to work with.

As I pulled into the parking lot I concidered not tapping anyone because I did not want to be the guy that walks into someone else's club and starts a battle. I quickly realized three things 1) This was not the type of club where I had to worry about causing a "brew ha ha" because I tapped someone 2) They like the marathon training style. For those that dont know what marathon training is, in a nutshell you keep goning until someone quits, 3) I walked in with my gi ready to train and realized everyone was training no gi that day....SURPRISE!!! Since I walked out with my Gi and my belt everyone knew I was a purple belt, but I had no idea what belt most of the other guys were.

I used to train no gi quite a bit and I enjoy no gi, I just dont get a chance to train no gi. Luckily I train with a rash guard so I simply did no gi training with gi pants and a rash guard top. As a side note I have always had a theory that wearing pants in no gi was an advantage. When I wear pants I feel like I have a better grip on my oppenents when they are in my guard. My pants wipe some of their sweat off and makes it a little harder for them to slip away from me. Of course there is the disadvantage of my opponent being able to grab my pant legs but so what, people grab my pant legs all the time in gi training.

On to the sets, I am going to intentionally remember them out of order to avoid insulting anyone that might stumble along this blog at a later date. I had 6 sets in all. I do not know the rank of my oppenents because it was no gi, so I am just guessing.

Set - Shortly after starting this set I felt like my oppenent was probably a white belt. I spent almost the entire set just moving through positions. Throughout the set the buzzer went off over and over and over and over. I think the timer was set to sound at the start of a 5 min round, sound at the 2 min mark, the 1 min mark and the 10 sec mark. I might be wrong about the settings but to me it seemed like it was constantly buzzing. After 1 or two buzzes I tuned the timer out completly. After SEVERAL minutes of moving through various positions I realized we probably had about 3 full 5 min rounds (although it could have been 2). I also realized my opponent was not going to ask to stop or quit without being tapped. So I finished him with an armlock. He went after lots of gulitines and was pretty aggresive. I like the "no quit" attitude and it was fun training with him.

Set - This opponent felt more like a blue belt. He was constantly hunting for ankle locks and constantly trying for gulitines. At one point he was really "giving me" the triangle. When I went for it he immediatly exploded upward, hipped into me and attempted a smash pass. He did this all in one quick explosive motion. I was able to turtle, turn and face and reguard but man he was close to putting me in a very bad spot. He was clearly setting me up by making me think he was exposed for the triangle when he wasn't. He anticipated my move and I was pretty impressed. He had me in a bad spot for a second and he obviously practiced that move over and over in the gym. It will serve him well in the future and I must say, not too many blue belts have the guts to give a purple belt a shot at a triangle. Hell, I dont like to give white belts a shot at a triangle. Again I moved through various positions with him and again after a while went by I realized we had been training for more than 1 set and possibly two sets. He was not going to quit without being tapped and I was starting to tire. I finished him with an arm lock, but it was no easy task. Another fun set against a game opponent with a "no quit" attitude.

Set - Not really sure about the rank of this opponent. He may have been a purple belt, not really sure. He had some good pass attemps and it was difficult to advance on him. Eventually I finished with a head and arm choke but, this was not a set where I was free to move through positions. He had good defense and made me earn every inch.

Set - This guy was bigger than me but not as experienced. It was a fun set and by this time I was a little more mindful of the clock because I wanted to get as many sets with as many different opponents as possible. I worked for an arm drag to back control. From there I was able to finish with a rear nake choke.

Gi Set - There was an ENORMOUS mountain of a brown belt training that day. Initally he was training no gi but he saw I brought my gi with me and asked if I would like to train with the gi. I really appreciated the offer and was happy to oblige.

Side note - That fact that he offered to train with me is a real teastement to the positive atmosphere at this gym. From a BJJ politics perspective - I am a purple belt visiting their gym, he is a Brown belt training in front of the lower ranks at his school. He was at least 240 pounds (although I think close to to 250/260). I had nothing to loose by training with him, but he had a lot to risk by training with me. If he was one of those BIG EGO BJJ types he simply would not have offered to train. Clearly he was not the BIG EGO type and I respect that. There are a lot of schools out there and a lot of BJJ players out there that dont train with lower ranked unknown oppoents because they think if you tap to someone lower ranked then you it is the end of the world. I did not see ANY of the BIG EGO at this school. He welcomed the new challenge and the new player while disregarding the BJJ politicals that so often comes into play. I know that was a long side note, but it was worth pointing out.

Originally I wrote a really long discription about the set with the Brown Belt but after re-reading it I decided to delete it. It was a great set, I am glad he gave me the opportunity to roll with him and I look forward to rolling with him again.

The last set was a no gi match with the instructor. Again, a really fun set and I was really happy to have the opportuntiy. I plan on visiting the school again when I can get out there.