Last Night’s Class: Improvements

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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.


6 thoughts on “Last Night’s Class: Improvements

    Kathy said:
    April 2, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Looks like the shoulder is healing – good news. Better watch out big man when this guy is 100%

    Steve said:
    April 2, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Sounds terrific!

    You touched on “takedowns from the knees.” I’ve noticed that the big guys tend to be more into locking horns. When I roll with Big Rick (the 280 lbs welder), he loves to lock up and push people around. I’ve seen guys do this for 3 or 4 minutes out of a 5 minute match. Some, like me, would prefer to pull guard and work from there. Others, like these guys, consider this as much a part of the grappling as anything else. What are your thoughts on this?

    Early on, I began just setting up on my butt and working to either pull guard or set up a butterfly sweep.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    April 2, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Thanks Kathy,

    It feels pretty good… I was a little nervous at first but I think taking a break helped…

    jiujitsu365 said:
    April 2, 2008 at 11:09 am


    With most big guys I am able to “lock horns” and can even get away with simple Judo moves on them. However, Big Man weighs just as much as Big Rick and was a former wrestler. He actually laughs when I brace myself before locking up. If I make the slightest mistake when attempting a throw or move, his weight, strength and wrestling ability nullifies my efforts.

    I also don’t mind pulling guard on most guys 225 and below because I know I can eventually reverse position. If I pull guard on Big Man, he can “chicken wing” my leg pretty quickly and obtain side control. Just thinking about it makes me lose my breath.

    As far as the “3 or 4 minutes” of pushing and pulling aspect while standing, I can understand why guys do it. Once a really big guy gets on top of me, it’s a battle of attrition for me more than anything else. I’ve been under Big Man’s side mount for minutes before obtaining a better position. I would prefer to end up on top so I can work for positioning and submissions.

    neijia said:
    April 3, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Jiujitsu – can you give us some tips on strength training that helps with bridging? I know you’ve just started but maybe you can answer or blog about what you find is working and not working. E.g., is it mainly squats and deadlifts? Is there more to it than that? Thanks. Great to read you made progress by adding the conditioning.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    April 3, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks Neija,

    I will be on the lookout for good answers to your question. I would imagine that squats, leg presses and deadlifts would provide the explosiveness needed for bridging. However, in my own experience in BJJ and Judo I have found that the best strength building exercises for bridging is bridging.

    Due to leverage and positioning the person performing the bridge usually has enough strength to buck the person upwards yet, how long can they do it?

    For practical purposes I have used a heavy bag as extra weight for bridging exercises. It can even be used as a substitute for side control. I believe this provides functional strength.

    If I find more information, I will definitely post it.

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