Open Mat – Battle in the Cage

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I’ve been to class three times since my last confession….

Anyway, I haven’t posted my last three sessions but I’m still on track. My academy has started an Open Mat Saturday (2/20/10) and I was extremely excited because I can literally double my attendance with few scheduling conflicts. It was also a new experience for me because Open Mat takes place in the MMA cage room and I have never been in a cage before.

On the day of the open mat I was the first to show up. Dan happened to be there while his son was attending Kid’s BJJ and said that he’d go through some drills with me. I worked on some side control escapes and then showed Dan a few of my tricks to gain and escape side control. Whenever Carlos (brown belt/assistant instructor) sees my ‘go to’ side control escape he calls it the “power roll.”  (When I can’t work a ‘regular’ side control escape I lean into my opponent and then roll back the other way. I end up in side control.)

After drilling a while Andrew (a fellow blue belt) comes back and asks if either of us wants to roll. I agree and then I had my first match, albeit a friendly grappling session, in a cage. My last time rolling against Andrew was over a year ago. He attends nights and I attend day classes. We couldn’t tap each other then and this time it was no different. Although, what was cool is that we are much better than when we last grappled. We went back and forth and at one point he actually used the cage to move around. I believed we grappled for about 7 to 10 minutes and by the end a couple of guys from the MMA class were watching us, which I believed increased the intensity of our roll.

What’s interesting is that I went to open mat with the idea of taking it easy and by no means were we wild. But since I haven’t grappled with Andrew in a year or more it was almost as if I was grappling with a new guy in class. And in those situations people tend to grapple a little harder than if they roll with each other all the time.

It is funny that I ended up grappling in a cage. It seems that the longer I participate in BJJ the more I end up doing things related to MMA such as sparring with the MMA guys and wrestling in a cage. I joked with Dan earlier and said I may end up fighting in a MMA match if I’m not careful.

Not really, but I never thought I would be grappling up against an indoor fence either.

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2 thoughts on “Open Mat – Battle in the Cage

    Allie McClish said:
    March 3, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Wish we had a cage at our school!! ;) I always get nervous when I grapple someone I haven’t gone with in a long time. It’s a good way to see how much you have or haven’t improved.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    March 4, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I agree that it’s a good way to gauge improvement. It lets you know if you have to step your game up or if you’re progressing at a good rate.

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