I went to open mat expecting a light workout and roll but I am beginning to realize that I should expect the unexpected on these days. Five white belts were testing for stripes; Big Josh, Dan, Vick, Cedrick and Melissa. Smiley asked us (Art, Jamie, I believe Andrew helped and me) to help roll with them (or rather jump them) during the grappling session. Before that I drilled with Art and he showed me one or two guard passes that he uses.
When it was time for us to ‘jump’ the white belts it turns out that they had to roll for 15 minutes. I began the roll with Vick and he went all “Grrrrrr” on me. I had to tell him to relax because he had a lot of time left. They would roll one minute with us and one with each other. I probably shouldn’t have, but I Tomoe Nage’d one of the guys. I let him down easy though. They all lasted 15 minutes with no problems as most of them come to class at least 3 times a week. Congrats to all of them.
On another note. I found a blaring hole in my game while flow rolling with Art. One, I need to work on defending my guard from the bottom while the other person is standing up. I usually end up on top so I don’t practice sitting down and letting guys approach my guard. When we drilled with me sitting and him standing it didn’t take long for him to bypass my guard. I used to fold my leg like a chicken wing when people would try to pass so I could block most attempts. But when I injured my knee while using that technique I vowed to never do it again. I have to come up with new defenses.
Second, I have always been a sucker for knee-on-belly so when Art used it I had no real defense. I vowed to master defenses for this and came up with some remedies that I will talk about in my next post.
Open mat was more than I expected but just what I needed.
*I wrote about my boxing days at Psychology Today – Recognizing when you’re in the Pros