Sunday, March 14, 2010

goodbye cold, hallo mat

It was a good thing that Monday was a public holiday. If there had been a BJJ class, I would have had to stay at home and grizzle, as I was still not ok to resume normal activities. Still too much coughing. After all, I really didn't want to give it to anyone else.

But by Wednesday night, there was no way I could stay home. Between lectures, I finally sampled the uni pool. Time to start making use of my pool/gym membership! Pool is nice and I did some laps for about half an hour. Discovered that I was somewhat short of breath after a few laps, had a break and did some more. Only spent half an hour there. And was disgusted with how tired I felt after. I was nearly in tears, to be honest. All those weeks of hard work to get my conditioning right for the comp, and then one week of a stupid cold and it all seeemed to be gone.

Evening BJJ class came and I really was in two minds about joining in. But then I thought oh well, at worst I'll fade and end up being mat pizza in which case I'll excuse myself and watch.

And what did we end up doing? Some quiet drilling? A few easy rounds? Nope. Course not. With a comp around the corner, it was five minute rounds from standing. Not a big class but everone keen (except yours truly who was wheezing just thinking about it). And wheeze I did!

Actually, what transpired was interesting. I sometimes had trouble breathing, but all in all, my energy levels were quite good. I did remarkably well, even pulling off some subs and having good positions as well as good defence. It was great. I lasted the whole hour and was able to walk and talk afterwards :-). Sure, I was tired when I got home. But not trashed.

Friday was similar with lots of rolling (no gi this time), and I had a pretty good time. The worst part of that was one occasion when we started from the knees, and him and I simultaneously leapt forward, leading with one hand (to grap collar). So we managed to smack each other in the face at the same time. Doh. Stupid. Fat lip.... Anyway, the rest was more intelligent and I'm proud to say that I gave all the guys a lot of grief ;-) It is so good to not always be on the receiving end of subs.

Aside from rolling, we did a new drill I'll try to describe.

I have my partner's back with one hook in and the opposite hand across his neck. He gets his back to floor and turns into me. As he does, I transition to mount, but he gets half guard. He gets his double underhooks and does a whip up. I whizzer him immediatedly. He tries for the sweep with both hands around floating ribs, but I brace. He tries to tap my far knee but if that fails, too, he limp arms his way out, takes my back and gets a seatbelt grip.

I roll either way and he transitions to side control (Eddie Bravo version). He sits on my near arm, his ribcage pushes on my head and the bottom leg's knee is against my near hip. He has one arm in my far armpit, the other grabs my far leg and pulls it towards him. I turn to escape. Either way, he goes for back control and ends up with one hook in and the opp. Arm around my throat. Now that we have reversed positions, we repeat and on it goes.

The fun part of it is that you have options at various points. For example, from whip up you try different sweeps, and which works determines the next position. Also, how the partner takes side control depends on how I roll into him. So there are many variation within the drill and it becomes a flow where either partner reacts to the other one, but both still stay within the scope of the moves of the drill. I quite liked it. I would also work well as a warm up or as a high energy drill to get a good workout.
Other version: instead of limp arm, do a sweep. Say if I’m on his right, if first two techniques fail, I move my left knee against his right leg hard, grab his left pant leg near his ankle and then sit down and roll back to my left sweeping him. Goto SC, etc.

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