Can’t Stop, won’t Stop: BJJ Life

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I finally participated in a BJJ class last Friday. Five weeks after my injury ‘incident.’ Back with a new knee-brace I tentatively joined the action. Great news; I was able to go through warm-ups, drills and light grappling with no scares.

Ryan – a purple belt and assistant instructor – suggested that I begin my rolling sessions from a seated position and not on my knees so I could be more careful and protect my knee.  I agreed. Although, taking that route led to my guard being quickly passed by a fellow blue belt (Eric). He is a pretty heavy guy and very hard to get off when he gets a dominant position. Still, I was glad to be back.

Even though I have been watching DVDs, video clips, studying books and doing solo drills while out I went blank a few times during the rolling portion of class. Coupled with a knee injury that favors my go-to side I struggled to think of how to perform techniques to the other side.

Nevertheless, I avoided the tap, from him, and managed to get in a couple of good submission attempts myself. When grappling with Smiley, our head instructor, it took longer than usual for him to tap me. But that could be for a number of generous concessions on his part.  On the whole, I was happy with my performance.

All of that weightlifting (circuits) I did while I was out paid off a little bit as I did not gas. I was noticeably slow during the warm-up session though. As I rolled with two of strongest guys in the class I couldn’t tell if the weightlifting helped with strength but it is something I am going to retain in my training regimen.

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9 thoughts on “Can’t Stop, won’t Stop: BJJ Life

    Tree Frog said:
    April 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    How’s open or half guard feel? Been “goat” passed yet?

    jiujitsu365 said:
    April 27, 2009 at 9:49 am

    My half guard felt good (obtained it once). I kept an open and butterfly guard the remainder of the time. But everyone knew what side I am having trouble with so I didn’t have to test it out.

    I don’t know what the “goat” pass is but it doesn’t side like a pass I want to experience.

    junior said:
    April 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    what kind of weight lifitng circuit do you do ?
    i hear 5 weeks isnt enough time to add any strenght increase…

    man i hate starting from the knees! either sitting indian style or awkard..idk..i just always figured “will i ever be here in competition?” lol

    Tree Frog said:
    April 28, 2009 at 12:40 am

    5 weeks is plenty of time to get stronger with weights. You can pack on some pretty good weight too, because you’re not burning it all off on the mats.

    Goat pass: shove a knee up over other guy’s knee after you’ve broken the closed guard. In MMA, you have to options of moving up into mount, into side control or hanging out there and punching away like Nick Diaz tried to do to Frank Shamrock.

    It’s a tough pass to defend, if you’ve got a good base, because it shoves the opponent’s hips in a direction that makes the attempts to get out weaker. The hips’ll be almost sideways as one knee is on the ground and the body is usually held shoulders flat.

    My base is not good, so I often go right into side instead of going for mount or hanging out.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    April 28, 2009 at 12:59 am

    I do mostly upper body exercises. The only part of my legs that I work out are my calves with seated and standing calf raises. By circuits I mean 15 seconds rest between each exercise. I do four sets of 12 to 15 reps for each exercise. I don’t do one set and skip to a new exercise like a normal circuit as it wouldn’t be practical for me.

    I have been using the Free Motion machines a lot and perform the basic exercises (bicep curls, lat pulls, triceps, etc.). I can’t lift as much on those machines but I feel the pump a lot quicker and it fatigues my muscles unlike barbells. The only real free weights I use are on the bench press. I follow the football method of working my way up to 225 and then lifting that as much as I can and then work my way down to the bar and lift to exhaustion.

    Hopefully, I can incorporate some more lower body weightlifting soon.

    In reference to starting on the knees I know what you mean. But, I have found that many of the BJJ guys I have grappled with do not know how to fall properly and when I use my (lowly green belt) Judo techniques, which catches many by surprise, I worry about hurting people. I may give up positions when grappling on the ground, but I never voluntarily let someone take me down so I rather go from my knees.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    April 28, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Tree Frog,

    I know what pass you’re talking about. No, no one tried that on me last class. I think I’d be okay if that happened though.


    I didn’t try to lift too heavy, but my bench reps increased because I usually go to muscle failure when I do it.

    Tree Frog said:
    April 28, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Try strongman stuff (picking up a heavy bag, running with it, loading it, tossing it) and pull ups. Pull ups with towels, pull ups with different grips, jumping pull ups etc. Box jumps, squats, deadlifts will get you stronger calves than iso exercises.

    Think Crossfit, adapted for jiu-jitsu.

    And you’re probably better off doing lower reps at higher weight than higher reps at lower weights.

    junior said:
    April 28, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    well i hope that program works out for you bro!
    As for me currently my objective is to get more gas in the tank for the mundials so my rep ranges are 12-20 on any given exercise.
    Your lower body is so important too man, dont neglect it too much! your quads and your hammies are huge energy supplies.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    April 28, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I appreciate it Junior and Tree Frog. Good suggestions and ideas…

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