Thursday, July 22, 2010

Aching and Achtung

More and more class tonight. It was pretty full---eleven of us (seven white belts) and Klint. We worked single legs (again!) and, once down, grip breaking and different sweeps from the open guard. This is something that I really appreciate about such small classes: I had a conversation with Klint on Tuesday about how I need to remember to break grips and go for sweeps from the bottom of my open guard, and on Thursday we worked exactly that. He showed us a few over-the-head-somersault-type sweeps that I barely figured out, but a few drills of those and I should have them committed to memory somewhere.

After class, my first roll was with Stan, a serious blue belt with a wrestling background and a third degree black belt in karate of some kind. He's explosive and has about 40 pounds on me, so the amount of time I spent on the wrong end of side control was massive. Part of it was my own doing--I started trying to play my open guard, and he got around it. I did turtle a lot---Stan couldn't get anything when he had me in side control, so he kept moving around and trying to get my arms out of place. I wasn't letting that happen, but at one point he forced a kimura grip. I put my back to the ground to stop it, and on one of his pulls I went to turtle. From there, he still couldn't get anything going. Eventually, I got him back to my closed guard and even got a whizzer grip on his right arm. If I could explain how much I love that grip and the feeling of control it gives me, I would. So I held that like it was my firstborn, but he wasn't letting me set the triangle or even get my hips into a workable position. I don't remember how it happened, but soon I threw a triangle, and it was a good was one of those where I manufactured the opening and put it up when I wanted to. Stan postured really well, so I went for his arm, but it slipped out and I fell to the ground screaming at myself. I realize this is probably not the polite thing to do (Stan stopped to make sure that I was ok), but DAMMIT I had him.

Next I rolled with Andy. Pulled him into my guard and started working on his right arm. He kept it out of danger pretty well but lost track of his left. Eventually, I remembered that he had two arms and realized that he was leaving his left elbow attached to my stomach, so I just moved over to it. He didn't realize that I was just going for the basic elbow lock, and he stood up right as I threw my foot over his head. The lock was tight, and he didn't tap, so I tightened. He let out the verbal tap, but I could tell he might have waited too long. He sat for a bit, but nothing was out of place and he was back to normal in five minutes. I don't know what I would do if I seriously injured a training partner. To be fair (and Andy said this himself), it was a lot of his fault. The elbow lock wasn't going anywhere, and he had to realize that and tap. But no harm, and I don't have to learn how I would handle it.

Then I re-rolled with Stan, and it was a lot of the same, but he was much more cautious not to get into a position where I could reestablish guard. Eventually, he got my arm free while he had me in side control and locked in a straight armbar. Then I re-rolled with Andy, and this one was much longer. I have to get more comfortable attacking from the knees rather than pulling guard, because enough people know the tricks and can pass if I leave one tiny hole. Also, pulling guard means that I start on my back, and even though that is the position that made me fall in love with Jiu Jitsu, it's fucking tiring and I need to be able to save some strength. Anyways, Andy got me in his side-control and then mount, and I think I upa'd out of that...not too sure, but eventually, I got a kimura grip on his right arm. Andy, though, is a bastard about giving up submissions, especially when it comes to his arms. He locked his right arm with his left and I couldn't move it to save my life. So I let him get to his knees and pulled him into my back control. Sank in a choke, but he recognized it before I could lock my hands and got his chin in front of my arm. I threw on a body triangle, but my arm was trapped in his, so once we rolled to the proper side, I kimura-gripped his arm and hipped out---but he sat up before I could throw my leg over. So I'm on my back again, with an armbar sunk in, but Andy has the RNC defense going and the only thing for me to do is pendulum sweep him---I chain-link my hands through and hook his leg, swing mine to create the momentum and start the transfer and Andy uses his not-trapped arm to base. No problem, I just bring my leg back and armlock the arm I was still controlling. All together, I probably trained for 20 minutes with Andy and Stan, and it was all wonderfully worthwhile.

I am a little upset that I wasn't comfortable enough to be more aggressive against Stan. When I had the whizzer and could start mounting attacks, I felt much better, but it took me at least 3 minutes before I could even get to that point. I need to realize that turtle, while good and defensive, is not a position that I should grow to like. It means I'm losing. And I hate losing. At the same time, I'm really glad I was able to shift that pendulum into an armbar so quickly. I just need to keep drilling and seeing what holes I can create to capitalize on. Because, apparently, jiu jitsu is just that easy.

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