Friday, July 30, 2010

open mat

After nearly six straight hours of lectures and lab sessions at uni, I was ready for some physical activity by the end of the day.

I'm still working on not giving my back and avoiding going to turtle. That's working pretty well now, and it's making me more active in re-guarding. Of course it means I get flattened more often. But that's a great incentive to get out, isn't it ;-) I have no choice but to have active hips. Interesting to see that I lacked strength there so I didn't ever use them effectively for shrimping and bridging. I don't know if they got strong first and so I improved my technique, or whether using better technique made them stronger. Probably both. Anyway, I feel much more effective now.

Yeah, so as usual I spent a fair bit of time under large white belts. Mostly, they get nothing on me, but every time I finally escape and get somewhere, I tend to get swept or otherwise manhandled and dragged floorside. I had a brief moment of frustration and had to remind myself sternly that BJJ = FUN. And that the only pressure is the pressure I put on myself. After that: cool. I even swept my large nemesis. Twice. I know I frustrate him endlessly, because he can't get much, and he pins me because that's what he knows. But once, he set up a figure four from mount with good base. I could not roll him and I couldn't get my arm back, and he really did it with perfect pressure. I absolutely complimented him for it!!

A bit later, he tried to triangle me, but as always, I just pass him at that point. So we worked on his triangles for a bit, which I think will help him.

I had several rolls with a purple belt. As always, I still walk into traps. I do recognise them a bit earlier now, so sometimes I can get out. But woe betide if he gets an underhook, no matter where you start, it's a one way street to an armbar.... I got swept and hated myself for being so easy to sweep. That was the bad bits. The good bits were me getting out of some armbar attempts. One roll started with him in my guard and as he was stepping over my leg, I snared his arm behind his back. I held on doggedly and we rolled twice, but I did pull off the figure four from half guard eventually. Then I had to tap to a few more armbars. A couple of times we stopped when he pointed out something. Like a sweep I just didn't see. Oh yeah, I did manage another submission. Can't remember how it came about, I think I was in sidemount and attacking his arm when I realised his neck was exposed. I moved more behind and put on an RNC. I think it's great that I sometimes see an alternative. Evidently, some things got stuck in the sieve which is called my brain.

As always, rolling with this guy is just the best thing. He had some time off, and I'm so glad he's back.

I was alternatively armbarred or triangled by our longlegged bluebelted king of triangles. I don't know, I'd recently been doing pretty good defending his triangles, but he has now found other ways of making them work. So I have to work out more ways of defending. Or better, not getting in there in the first place. But sheesh, he just has a knack of grabbing an arm and shove!, it's moved and his leg is over your shoulder and you just think: how in hell did he do that?? But in any case, I did thwart him several times, and once I had him in my guard, the boot was on the other foot. I can break him down well but I wasn't confident to try an armbar. So mission control worked a treat, then I went for omoplata. He tried to roll out. I decided to stop that and keep trying for the finish instead of allowing the roll and then sitting on his shoulder. But I stuffed up and then he stepped over and after some weird position I found myself in an ever so familiar triangle :-). One of the purple belts was watching and gave me a couple of pointers in finishing the omoplata. Also he said that while you should let go of stuff, sometimes it's good to keep trying because it helps you troubleshoot and work out how to finish. Basically, you have to make mistakes in learning how to make it perfect. And that's what open mat is perfect for.

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