I'm sitting here at uni with time to spare, so I might as well write about our lunchtime class today. Our instructor was ill so one of the blue belts took the class at short notice.
So we played with head arm chokes: the D'Arce and the Anaconda. And we tried to figure out how Matt Hughes did his choke in the last UFC. We came up with two possible ways. One way, using a gable grip on the tricep and dropping the head to the floor on the same side worked for the guys with the longer, skinnier arms. Another variety worked better for a couple of the more barrel chested guys. They grabbed onto the opposite arm's sleeve or cupped the tricep to sort of cross their arms in front of their chest. Then they buried their head between the bottom guy's armpit and their own upper arm to reduce the gap while pressing down on the guys's shoulders. Finally, flexing the biceps. I tried both and found they work. They don't feel like there's that much pressure, but the bottom guys surely tapped! In the end I thought I preferred the first version.
It's Friday and seeing I was interrupted the other day, I didn't get a chance to post it. Meawhile, I've been to a Wednesday evening class and Thursday open mat.
Wednesday evening we had two of the blue belts showing various chokes. With a group of mainly white belts, most of them 1 stripe or less, we stuck to the basic cross lapel choke from guard and a lapel choke which Roy Dean shows in one of his DVDs. I don't know what it's called. It works like this: we start with our right hand having a deep cross lapel grip on the person in our guard. We pull him down with that arm. Maybe flare his right elbow out with our left hand, and bring our knees towards our hand. That breaks his posture. We push our right forearm up under his chin and wing up our right elbow up to lift his chin. He will expect a cross lapel choke and probably block with his hand. Insteat, we reach over his neck with our left hand. It helps to have his head more on our right hand side. Then we insert the left hand into the crook of our elbow, so that the forearm is pushing against the back and left side of his neck. We push up with our right elbow and down with our left forearm, using the back of our left hand against the inside of our right elbow as a fulcrum. Worked sweetly.
The four most senior ones amonst us worked on a drill that involved a mount escape to half guard, then lockdown and a variety of sweeps. That was good to get quite a few reps in. The only thing I hate about drilling anything with a lot of lockdown is how sore my ankles get. Mind, this time it was my drilling partner, who was moaning and complaining about his legs, he reckoned they were getting so sore, he was ready to tap out :-).
I had a few rolls on Wednesday, and several yesterday during open mat. I'm happy to say that I coped well against two fairly spazzy newish guys. One quite new which I managed to sweep and submit with a kimura from north south. Another a bit less new, but straining and breathing raggedly (boy, he has to learn to relax!!), who started the roll with "I'm not getting in YOUR guard!". Hehe. Ok, so we had a merry roll with him on top for a bit, and on the bottom for a bit. I wasn't careful at one point and when I disengaged he got my back. He went for the beginner's favourite, the RNC, but I hung in there and peeled his arms off although he strained so hard he nearly popped a vein, I reckon. On it went the details of which I can't recall. Then, him in side control, I hipped out and got full guard. It was funny to see the look on his face :-) . I said "you didn't want to be here, did you?". Vigorous head shaking.... I tried a choke, he defended, I set up a triangle. And just as I clapped it on, one of the other guys came past and started coaching my opponent: "posture up", "watch that arm". Diddums! He smashed out of my guard and I was back to side control bottom. Then they were calling time, counting down 30 seconds. Hip out, get a knee in. Get a hook in. Couldn't budge him, so bottom knee in to get the leg out the other side against his knee. Seconds to go! Grabbed his arm and pulled it in, pulled him down and Wooohooo - sweeparoochies, right on the knocker. So sweet :-) So much fun. And while I had a good glow on, all the heavy breathing came from my opponent. Ah, he will learn, too.
Had another few good rolls. Though I had to tap out every time, I got near submissions most times, got sweeps, gained and held top positions and felt like I was moving well. It's just the best feeling when I feel like it flows back and forth. The next step up will be when I start stringing stuff together. To a degree I do it now, but happends ad hoc. I try a sub and if it fails I try another. When I start to set up two or three in a row from the beginning, using his defence against the first as a setup or trap for the second or third, then things will be even more fun. Not there yet, but I'm sure it will come.
I received a surprise compliment from a couple of the young guys. We were talking about the comp coming up and working with people about your size etc. Also the fact that one of them finds it so easy to get my back, which he reckons is due to my lack of bulk and because of some strength differential. I sort of disagree on the strength part of the argument. But in any case, they were saying that I was one of the few people in class lighter and less strong than they are, so they pull off stuff on me they can't get on the other guys. I said that aside from wrestling with the little guy, basically everyone is always bigger and stronger and it's a fact of life on the mat for me. Because I can count on a few fingers the number of times a girl comes to class every year. Next thing they tell me I'm amazing. Gosh! I think I'm more like crazy or something. But it's good for the soul sometimes to get a wee pat on the back. And these are two of the guys who I always look at and say I wish I could wrestle like.
Ah well, I'm sure that sometime in the near future, I shall be flattened under a big guy and all my thoughts of being a grappling phenom will vanish, like the breath from my sqashed chest :-)