Month: September 2009

Last Class and sometimes it may be better not to roll (22)

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Last Thursday’s morning class was relatively small. Four of us were vets (including the instructor Ryan/purple belt) and there were three new people. As I have to arrive late because I teach in the morning, I caught the last half of drill which consisted of setting up an elbow lock from the guard.

The new guy I was drilling with packed up right after the drilling portion of class so I ended up rolling with two people who were in their first week. The woman I rolled with quit within 1 min and so did the guy. My clothes were fresh and I have no hygiene issues so that wasn’t the reason. The woman I rolled with seemed unsure of what to do so I just postured up in her guard and let her work from there. I tried to be encouraging but I think it may have been a little too intimidating.

The guy I rolled with said that he had tweaked his shoulder in the previous class. However, when we begin to roll he seemed to be exerting full strength. We were on our knees so I tried to guide him to his back. He resisted and ended on his hands and knees instead. I grabbed one of his arms and an ankle and flipped him onto his back (gently) and gained side control. After a few seconds he verbally tapped.

It has been a while since I have rolled with pure beginners. Usually the guys and women that I roll with have an athletic or wrestling background that helps them even if they don’t know what to do. Instead of rolling I probably should have just asked if they wanted to review something instead.

Well look who decided to show up!

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I finally returned after a month layoff. That is the longest voluntary lay-off I’ve had since I began in 2004. I can’t explain it well, but I just lost motivation to train. I know people who follow the blog will probably say, “I’d probably lose motivation too if I had been slammed on my face and knocked out.” However, that wasn’t the reason. At least it wasn’t a conscious reason.

Even though I don’t teach during the summer and had ample time available, I found it harder and harder to go to BJJ class. On some occasions I began wrestling with my psyche the night before to cajole and convince myself I needed to go. So I just decided to wait until I returned to work.

When I arrived I stretched a bit and Joe invited me to join his group to work on the technique they were reviewing. The first technique was a side control escape which led to guard and the second was a side control escape which led to a reversal and sweep.

After this we rolled. I first rolled with Art. Art is another guy who trains 5 times a week and each time I roll with him his skill level has just about doubled. He played butterfly guard and has picked up the technique of disrupting your balance (when your on your knees) by using his foot to push your knee from under you. We rolled to a stalemate and traded positions back and forth, but once I was able to mount him by jumping over his butterfly guard from a kneeling position. He topped that by sending me airborne with some sort of bridge.

After that, Carlos (brown belt instructor), had us go through some competition rounds.

I was paired up with a guy who was a former wrestler and coach. He is not that tall (5’6 or 7) but he weighs 216 pounds. I baited him with my Judo stance, which is naturally upright, and when he went for the shot I sprawled and was able to jump on to his back. He was extremely hard to control and when I tried to sink in a rear naked choke I couldn’t because he doesn’t have a neck (that’s visible). I find a lot of the wrestling guys hard to choke this way. He powered his way out of my back control and he ended up in my guard. I was able to reverse him but when I landed on top he was breathing so hard I had to ask him if he was okay. He shook his head no and tapped out.

Finally, I rolled with Josh. I think Josh trains more MMA than BJJ and I also think he has a wrestling background. He is about 6ft, at least 215 and has a body builders build. I adopted my upright stance and Carlos told me I was “too high.” When Josh went for the shot I sprawled and was able to jump on his back. I couldn’t sink in my hooks because he shucked me off. I felt like a Professional Bull Rider on Versus. We both stood up and repeated the same scenario. After that I stayed on my knees and when he stood up I ankled picked him with one hand and pushed him down with the other. From there we went back and forth but he ended up outpointing me. He is very good at transitioning from side control to mount.

I was exhausted but it was an excellent roll and excellent class.