Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Catchup post


I had my wisdom teeth removed in November and due to complications, was out of BJJ for about 4 months.

I've been back for about 3 or 4 weeks now.

I went to my first seminar and sat around too much.

My BJJ focus has changed: I'm in a weird stage where I'm trying to push myself more, but not so much I'm wasted. I get about 1/3 of my process from thinking and reflection and when I'm gassed it's difficult to keep up mentally or remember things later. I know I'll need to push through this in the future, but for the time being it works into my wheel house of:

I've been getting mashed on more, but it's OK - I'm learning a ton and am OK with not spazzing. I'm curious and defensive. I don't mind getting tapped so long as I got there authentically. I'd rather move in a technical way and get tapped than do something whacky and win. That said, I still do whacky stuff. I feel like a dope for not being able to excute what we've just trained in after-class sparing sessions.

Watching my breath and timings. Control. Defense, technical transition and catch. I still explode sometimes.

Someone told me I should spaz more.

 Someone told me I was right on the cusp of unlocking BJJ "you're setting yourself up in ways which is making alarms go off in my head but failing to execute".

Someone told me that my brains were being used a lot - that I knew body positions and the mechanics. I guess 2+ years on the mats will do that!

A lot of compliments on my strength - I'm a skinny guy and people often say "you're a lot stronger than you let on" "best roll I've had in a while" - I feel bad for muscely or heavy people - the same compliments are complaints when applied against someone who has a larger body than me.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Back in the white

Posting from my phone:

I'm back in bjj. I took a leave of absence after having my wisdom teeth removed. Ive been back for three weeks now but haven't been training as often as I could until last week.

My forearm bones are giving me warning (yellow), I have a deep bruise on my leg, lots of little bruises all and my ego is taking a bit of a pounding as i catch back up. Stamina, technique, ego, and mindfulness.

I tried to reflect on what I've learned in the last week between open mat sessions, and came up blank, so I suppose that means I need to start keeping better records of what I've learned and gone over.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Half guard transitions this past week:

when they sit in, back toward you, in half guard:
pinch with thighs around their 'far' leg.
finagle their far leg with yours and
1. Tilt them, while you grab their other leg with your hand, then move to full guard
2. swim under their arm full body, shrimp out, your 'close' leg into their knee, move to their back.
3. if their foot is by your hand, grab it, dump them.
4. swim under their arm full body, situp sweep.
5. with their leg trapped, base out with your free leg and bridge to side control

Finagle to mean: pinch, pull, cross, lock.

Tuesday night's rolling was a reintroduction for me -  let myself be man handled.

Thursday night we did sweep or submit.
Wednesday night I a BJJ classmate move.

Dear leader will be getting his blackbelt soon! He's going to Brazil this weekend! Huzzah!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Last night: Judo, guard break

Half-step dance move, holding onto their lapel and shoulder - lift up, get them moving to their tippy toes.
Once they're up, step your foot through so you're in line with them, your arms will be folded in a weird position because you're still holding on,
drop to your knees, while pulling them forward,
Trick is to keep momentum moving, and especially to watch dropping on your knees - not a move to be done on concrete.

Also, to do a similar setup but instead of dropping to your knees, step out, beside them with one leg and 'trip' them with your extended leg. In this instance you keep your base.

In both instances when they're on the ground, "it's BJJ time"

If you're being thrown, accept the throw. Going against it with base or your arm out will get you hurt. By going with it, giving it a bit of momentum, you're sure not to be hurt and may even come out further ahead, defensively, than if you held on.

What I think is weird about Judo is the broken Japanese.. some moves are in Japanese, others in english, some in broken parts of both "This is half-/japanese for circle" like, could you just say "half-circle" and help me out!? I wonder if they do the same thing for English terms over there.

Guard breaks, new styles.

We practiced keeping position, allowing the other person to pull on us. I learned to keep my feet flat when in guard, for the most part.

Together legs makes it hard to pull you forward and backward. Wide legs makes it hard to move side to side. Popping up to your toes allows you more control, but you need to be quick. Only popup when they pull you forward.

Guard passes involved grabbing their lapel, pulling your same side leg up, wrapping your arm around your knee so the lapel is tight, and pushing on their other leg to create tension in the groin.  From here you can cut-pass, or as we were shown, get the legs on your shoulders and move them to the side, going for side control.

End of class yesterday was sweep or submit.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Blog post.. CATCH UP!

It's been a couple of weeks!

Dear leader, after watching us noobs roll around, seemed to have a bit of an epiphany. He said, "I can't be training you guys every move in order and expect you to keep up on them all" so for two weeks we trained side control defense, sweeps and transitions.

I liked it a lot! I was there for 5 of 9 classes. Though I feel like I only took one soild move from it, and a couple of other things I may remember when the time comes.. I was able to do a couple of the sweeps instinctually - so, progress!

In open mat, I had someone compliment my strength! But after a few days to think about it I think it was likely a backhanded compliment - like, "Wow, you're a lot stronger than I expected" means, "You're using way too much muscle". Regardless, it was nice to be considered strong! I know that I've got a lot to work on, but right now I'm going to focus on timing and anticipation and let the strength part fall to the wayside -

Sick & injured:
Today, I'm sick! I'm not sure what's up- a bit of a cough, weak body & mind. It's no fun. Trying to pinpoint where that came from, I think it's from breathing in the same air (face to face) when rolling with some new people. new people, new germs.

Also, I had a hair in my mouth and then, when trying to fish it out, I got a cold sore on my lip and tounge! I'm not sure what to do about that.. maybe a clean, hair-licking rag.. i'll of course keep you, my devoted blog fans apprised if I find an adequate solution in this arena.

Anyway, it's not so bad. My buddy Shannon says it takes a couple of years to acclimate your body to those types of germs and in general, you should avoid putting things in your mouth. So now I know!

Personal :
I've also been training a decent amount with Shannon at my house- I'm up to about 1 hour 45 minutes of rolling at a time! I get my ass whooped, but I'm not completely worthless, my transitions are good, I'm defending a lot longer. I feel like I'm using more strength than I need to, but it's nice to know that's an option. Plus, I'm putting on more strength as I use it.

My stamina is getting much better! If I just stop for a moment between bouts to catch my breath, I can roll all day! Next step is to push myself further and further so I can train even when pooped

My friend Jessica F. , dear leader's sister, came to visit this past week - she was there when I started training and left several months later. We trained several times and got to hang out otherwise. It's fun to see how we've both progressed.

Deep thoughts:
If you recall, I wrote about having some consternation regarding the time I was spending in BJJ and how I felt that BJJ was taking over that drive in my life to progress - that it was easy to go to BJJ and call it a day. Even at that time, I had a white board which I use to keep track of my goals, but ever since I felt like that was an issue, my white board has changed dramatically. Instead of tracking monthly, I do weekly. And my goals are much more well defined. I have a couple of catagories on the whiteboard like "Do" "Learn" "Education" as well as BJJ, Social and the like. Tracking monthly it was easy to push some of the less fun things off onto other days of the month, but weekly, and since the week I've drawn out is the same size as the month was previously, I feel much more compelled to do things.

Relatedly, I had to 'shit or get off the pot' so to speak - I wasn't doing myself any favors by half-assing the amount of time I could give BJJ - things progress much more quickly when I go often and so long as I can see I'm keeping up on my other goals, the progress will be greater by devoting more time to BJJ instead of lessened.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Crucifix, turtle attacks, learning to better control my body and looking good nude!

This past week we went over a lot of turtle attacks. Namely pinching their arm between your legs and moving in different directions to get an arm-bar. Even though the turtle only happens about 1/6 of the time, this leg movement for an arm bar seems to happen often enough. Not that it's easy to pull off but it leads to other things.

One of them, pinching their arm with your legs, you roll over their head, and then you have them in a crucifix hold. From there, you open their gi up, reach in with the other hand and simply choke.

There's also a really sick choke against someone in turtle that you simply grab on and move out.

I've been really trying to slow down my arm bars and put thought into them by holding them for a moment before moving to complete.

Using that mindset I just mentioned, I've been pulling off arm bars more often. If not them, then Omaplata - or transitioning. As I mentioned in my last post i seem to be getting better now. Still a lot to learn but at least having an idea as to what I should be doing.


Today in open mat I could really feel a size difference between me and my good buddy Shannon. I felt HUGE and like I could just scoop him up or move him around. I don't know why, maybe something suddenly clicked? He still stomped me, multiple times, I'm sure me commenting on how tiny he felt while we were rolling didn't de-motivate him at all ahaha


I looked at myself nude in a full body mirror yesterday and noticed I looked pretty fit! I just need to keep my posture in mind and I think I'll be studly. I'm not especially muscular but the fat on my belly has dropped off and i have some muscular tone now.

I sent notice to a few friends about that one (text, not photo, dirty-birds!)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

I'm getting better!

This is more of a landmark or bookmark of an event - but I noticed yesterday and more so today, I'm getting kind of OK!

I think I've finally got defense well enough down - or maybe I don't feel as pressured -- that I'm starting to look for submissions instead of looking for defense.

What's strange is when I was there Thursday, I didn't do that well - I thought because I had not been to class often in the preceding two weeks.  Or maybe my heart wasn't in it during sparring after class, or the stamina requirement was higher.

But Saturday, Sunday, much better! I still got tapped often, but kept at it, and was grabbing things, moving in proper ways. I even did some things instinctually which a higher belt said he learned from!