Month: April 2008
JiuJitsu 365: I know some of the guys and gals who read this blog have been wondering what’s up this month. I usually post with more regularity. Well the ‘skinny’ is that I have been spending the last few weeks trying to find the right home to move into in Jacksonville and have been busy wrapping things up at the college where I work.
For instance, this is my last day teaching here (I was singing, dancing and rapping in my car coming to work). I even noticed pretty flowers (or weeds) on the highway… Now I just have to wrap up about a week and a half of administrative work before I will be through here.
When we move I have identified two likely places that I will train. The first place, Smiley’s Combat Athletix, is about 12 minutes away from the neighborhood where we will be moving to and they offer gi and no-gi BJJ and a host of other disciplines. They offer BJJ five days a week.
The other, Jax BJJ (An official Gracie Barra academy), is located about 7 minutes from the college where I will be working and get this, they have morning Jiu-jitsu (open mat) five days a week from 10:30 AM to 12 PM. As a professor, I at least have two or three mornings where I could comfortably work that into my schedule so I am stoked. I wouldn’t mind getting my BJJ fix early in the morning and spending time with the wife in the afternoons. (Oh yeah, Smiley’s has three morning BJJ classes too at 11AM).
I love no-gi so I will definitely train at Combat Athletix, but I also desperately want to train with the gi (at Jax BJJ ) not only for growth in the art but also to see where I line up in the spectrum of BJJ. Sometimes I think I am pretty good and other times, not so much…
Anyway, that’s what’s going on and I’ll keep you posted…
Jiujitsu365: I am not practicing BJJ for self defense purposes. Therefore, I sometimes forget that many people do learn it as a tool to defend themselves. Or to at least feel confident. I have recently been watching a number of videos on iTunes produced by the New York BJJ Academy operated by Marcos Santos.
While searching for more of their videos on YouTube I ran accross this video “Marcos Santos Women’s Self Defense Demonstration.” It’s pretty interesting and he goes from the lowest belt to highest belt. The last woman did something totally unexpected, which is why I am highlighting this vid.
Last night, I arrived a little late to class. When I entered, the guys were in the middle of a striking session with the pads. It turns out that Big “J” will be fighting in his first MMA match this Saturday. Big “J” is a rare specimen. He is 6’4 or 6’6 (he said he forgets) and weighs 205 lbs (all muscle). However, he looks like he weighs 225. He’s strong like a heavyweight, but limber like a 145 pounder. The instructor has two locations that he teaches in and Big “J” goes to both.
Well, last night they wanted me to simulate ground and pound and have Big “J” work from his back. So, I kid you not, we went 10-4 minute rounds with a minute in between and a 4 minute break between rounds 4 and 5 and 8 and 10. We started with Big “J” on his back and me on top in side control. I was told to go at 40% and to make sure I didn’t cut J’s face with elbows or the gloves. From the first ringing of the bell, 40% was out the window.
Without having to worry about getting hit back, I dropped elbows, knees, soft to mid-range hard punches and went for submissions. My mission was to stay on top. Which didn’t last long. However, each time I stayed on much longer and since we kept restarting so much I picked up a few of the tricks he uses to get out of side control and the mount. I’ll try them on someone else later.
I was thoroughly exhausted and pushed through the last four rounds because I knew he needed to have someone heavy work with him. But it also let me know that I could push past limits that I have set in my mind. Since I knew it was benefiting him for me to work hard it made me push past what I thought were my boundaries. I think last night’s session help give me perspective for my future sparring sessions.
Some people have complained about TUF having the guys fight before allowing their characters to develop. But I think it was a good idea to shuffle things up. I think they could have at least let the fighters know that they would have to fight their way into the house. It might have been 30 seconds of good TV to catch the look of surprise on their faces, but these guys give up a lot to be on this show.
Plus, did they get paid for these pre-fights?
As far as BJJ is concerned, Timothy Credeur and Matt Brown stood out. Timothy Credeur easily dispatched his opponent and Brown demonstrated fluency not only in BJJ but has an all around game. I love to watch MMA but I wonder how the sport will look when everyone has black belt level Jiu-jitsu skills (or the equivalent) and have striking skills to match.
One last point: Do some fighters know their opponents are out and ‘go for the kill’ anyway? It seemed as if Matthew Riddle, who made Dan Simmler moan uncontrollably after pounding him senseless after he knocked him down, could see that his opponent was out. In MMA they say go until the ref stops it, but if someone really gets hurt because of just one senseless punch, MMA may be relegated to the underground again….
The date of the tournament has been changed from April 12th to June 28, 2008. I went to the website again to get all of the particulars and was greeted with “Note: Date and Location have changed!” It would have been quite a surprise if I had waited to recheck the address where it was being held until I arrived in Jacksonville.
I just packed my ‘tournament bag’ this morning before coming to work. Guess I’ll unpack it tonight.
We were also going to do some house hunting since we will be moving there at the end of May. I guess if we still travel down there we can do that full time instead. The good thing about the change is that on the new date I will be actually living there and won’t have to travel 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
“You’ve improved a lot since the last time we rolled.”
Those are the words my head instructor said to me last Thursday. We had a good ten minute roll before he tapped me with a triangle. (Although I am convinced he could have tapped me earlier.) He said it with enthusiasm, so I was glowing inside, even if I looked calm outside. I would have to check my past posts, but I think it has been at least three months since we last rolled. More than anything I think he was complimenting my ability to defend because I was on the defense for the majority of the time. I also believe my Jiu-jitsu365 project contributed to my improvement.
Class went well as we continued to work on sweeps from the guard. I also had a chance to closely observe Big J roll (6’6 200+) with Big Man (6’6 280). Even though Big Man could gain the dominant position at will, Big J managed to tap him out every few minutes. I noticed that Big J continually attacked Big Man’s arms and neck.
So when I rolled with Big Man I tried the same strategy. I went for kimuras from the guard. I tried a reverse arm bar when I had his back, etc. He was able to pull out from them but he was on the defense as opposed to offense. He eventually got me to tap a couple times from a neck crank and kimura of his own. However, in a breakthrough for Big Man, he finally approached one of our sessions by sitting in guard as opposed to starting from his knees. That’s a good signal because it demonstrates that he is ready to fully develop his game and make rolls more enjoyable for his sparring partners…..
Jiu-jitsu365: *Wow!!!! I looked down for a second and Houston Alexander ‘got knocked out….’ He’s denying he was out, but the video says otherwise.
I was busy thinking how Steve Mazzagatti no longer has that ridiculous mustache and missed it….
*Nate Diaz put on another clinic against Pellegrino. Pellegrino got a little cocky after schooling Diaz in the first round.
*Ahh Man…. Karo lost to Thiago Alves. It’s another case of a fighter being given too many contender fights. His streak was bound to end sooner or later and in MMA it doesn’t take long… He also thought the fight was stopped too early, but he was out….
*Anthony “Rumble” Johnson v. Tommy Speer. OMG, that knockout by Johnson was devastating. Speer’s wrestling was nullified by Johnsons wrestling ability so it ended up as a one way striking match. Impressive….
Ken-Flo pulled it out. I think they moved Lauzon up to soon. He hasn’t really been in a war yet and I think Florian was mentally tougher and broke Lauzon’s will…
Solid night of fights….
I am sitting on my couch waiting in anticipation (6:58 P.M.) for UFC Fight Night Live and the TUF premiere. My wife is visiting her folks and I can watch with no guilt. I have been feeling a drought as of late and if I have to watch one more episode of UFC Unleashed, WEC or TapOut re-runs I am going to flip…. I am running out of MMA events to order on Netflix and I don’t think I can stomach watching another MMA event filmed in 1996.
My only prediction tonight is that Kenny Florian will beat Joe Lauzon…
I made it through last night’s class with no problems to my shoulder. I drilled and sparred with Big Man the entire time so my shoulder was put through a workout.
We worked on a number of half-guard passes and then our instructor tested our knowledge of a number of different positions. During our sparring session I could see improvement in my aerobic and anaerobic conditioning from my workouts at the new gym. I was able to keep bridging and shrimping when Big Man was on top and I could see that he was susceptible to those movements when I could keep pushing the issue.
I also noticed a slight increase in strength as I was able to assert myself with authority at certain points. I visualized myself being on the leg press when I held open guard and had my feet on his hips. When I pushed forward his body complied. Further, I was able to counteract his takedown ability (from the knees) and that allowed me to work a few different positions instead of the usual of being trapped in side control and then being submitted by a keylock. (He still has the ability to do a quick shove that will put you on your back. He shoved me this time and instead of falling straight back I performed a 360 degree turn without completely losing my balance and then we re-engaged.)
Overall, it was a solid class.