Friday, February 11, 2011

four days... six classes

Ok, ok. I've already admitted to being an addict. What else can I say??

In Monday night's class we worked on half guard and lockdown escapes.

Tuesday evening I went to Geelong. I took two of our three stripe guys with me who wanted to try the intermediate class. And another one of ours met us down there.

First up was the advanced class. John showed us some variations of a sweep from hooks in (in USA known as butterfly guard). We drilled first the movement pattern, then worked on positioning and locking ourselves to our opponent using the hook, the knee and the grip on the belt on his back. Finally, we looked at several possibilities for blocking his free arm from posting. There was the overhook, underhook with grip on the sleeve near the tricep. Another possibility is to grab the sleeve, push down hard and scoot our butt next to it. Finally, if we can't get the arm, we can push the neck away with the forearm, reach over his back to grab cloth and sweep him over his head.

The intermediate class was about side control escape to knees, controlling the top, changing position and finally attacking with a rolling lapel half nelson choke.

Of course, there was much wrestling during the classes. I was caught in a knee bar once, in some chokes, too. Tried hard to get the hooks in sweep we did in class, but just couldn't set it up/get to the starting position. But I did manage some other sweeps, caught a front choke, and an armbar on the hugest guy in the intermediate class. This guy is huge :-) 

I found though that I was going too hard, too fast. One guy actually remarked on that. Shame on me, I should know better. And because I'm not taking the time, I'm rushing instead of thinking and my wrestling is worse. That aside, I suspect I'm muscling stuff. Not good. I was hoping that by doing so many sessions and being tired as a result, I would stop doing it, but it's not yet working.

Wednesday, back on the mat at the home dojo by lunchtime, I was fatigued. And still going hard. I must have too much bloody energy. Didn't help with much with one of the tall, strong white belts. Made a mistake and he got my back. Guys with super long legs are hard to get off my back!! So I tapped to a back choke. Second round went much more my way, but it was time out before I could do something nasty to him. Another guy I caught in an armbar after totally frustrating him with high closed guard. Yet another, newer guy, I shamelessly dominated and submitted several times. That led to some funny remarks from our sensei about my aggressiveness. Hrrmpf. It's one thing being called troublesome, but I feel that warning guys that I'm mean, that just isn't fair ;-)

Aside from a lot of wrestling, we did some deep half guard entries and a rolling sweep to a single leg. After that class, I felt totally wasted. And I noticed that if I get tired, I don't slow down (much), but I do revert to "safe" stuff, which in my case is closed guard and my favourite attacks from there.

Wednesday night's class was taken by one of the blue belts and we drilled four complimentary attacks from north/south: the N/S choke, anaconda choke, d'Arce choke and figure four/kimura. I was kind of glad there was no wrestling, as I was just about dead on my feet :-)

Thursday was about escapes from switch base side control and headlock control. Both involved getting my near hip close, bridge up, get under his hip and roll him over. We also did a little drill where we used that escape from headlock control, but just as we bridge our partner onto his head, he lightens his feet and jumps over to get headlock control on the other side.

Oh, and we wrestled some more. To my shame I have to admit I was rushing again. This led to being taken apart by one of the purple belts. Just wasn't thinking straight, to the point of launching a half-assed attack on his neck while he's busy passing to side control. Where I should have just concentrated on escaping side control, even before he arrived there. Doh. Only good thing I can say about those rolls is that I was very successful in defending back attacks. However, it would have been better if I hadn't given up my back in the first place...

What was nice is that I avoided several triangle attempts from our resident master of triangles. I managed to pass his horrible guard without getting triangled or swept. However, then I proceeded to waste my time trying to peel one of his arms out from side control when I should have just done something else. I get so stuck on one thing, I fail to see other possibilities. Result: he escaped. I can be such a meat-head...

We finished off by doing some drills to maintain back control. I find I'm a lot more successful in maintaining a good seat belt grip nowadays, and that makes things so much easier.

I guess I'll have plenty of stuff to work in in open mat tonight :-) And top of the list: slow down and use technique!


  1. So overall, how are you liking wrestling? I haven't touched even one of the wrestling classes at my gym, but everyone...everyone that competes takes them. Seeing as I haven't, and may never compete (still not sure) I've kind of just brushed them off.

  2. Ha, here we have a good example of language differences between the denizens of the land down under and the land of unlimited possibilities :-)

    Let me explain... When we say wrestling, that does not have to be wrestling specifically. Unlike in USA, there is very little wrestling (college etc), so wrestling means anything that involves people rolling around on the floor. When we say "let's wrestle" at our school (and the others I've been to), we mean "roll".

    We still just do BJJ :-)

    There are lots of other areas where terminology differs. Ie: what you call butterfly guard, we call hooks in guard. Your north-south is our head-to-head. And we use the term "Figure 4" instead of "Kimura" or "Americana".

    I know, I know, we are strange down here :-)

    I honestly don't know if I'd fancy wrestling (in your sense). The takedowns are awesome, and for that, I'd love to try it. But it's academic anyway, because Melbourne is the nearest place for wrestling clubs, and that's too far for regular classes.