Friday, August 20, 2010

Wrestling Really Sucks

More half-guard last night, both passes for the top and a few options for the bottom--one taking the back and one pretty slick sweep in they stop your underhook with a whizzer. I was paired with Cameron today, a new army-type white belt who used to wrestle. We're probably roughly the same height, but he's got muscle mass on me and understands leverage at a base level that I'm still hoping to reach one day in the future. So it was a rough night of drilling. He's still green to BJJ, so the idea of 50/50 is a bit foreign to him. Just like it was to me. I'm not bagging on the guy, everyone who's new to the art goes through this, and I imagine that it's that much harder when you're already so competent and confident in one aspect of grappling. I even told him that I will probably lose to him every time for a while, because he has that understanding and I clearly don't, not to mention the "stronger-than-me" part of the equation.

We rolled a bit after class, and I realized what wrestling does for BJJ and what it doesn't do. It allows someone to dominate every position--to know which post to take so that you drop fastest, to have a quick shot, all that of course. But it also teaches you weight and pressure, hand fighting, and how to get yourself out of bad spots. What you don't get from wrestling is how to finish someone. He had me controlled for most of our roll, and only once did he really attempt a submission--a guillotine that a) wasn't that deep at all and 2) I was able to defend easily. In fact, I think I was more threatening with submissions, even though I could barely hold a position worth having. That gap, though, will vanish as he learns and implements technique. That will be an ugly day for me.

Then Andy and I rolled again. He and I need to start finding different sparring partners, but we're usually there the longest and end up having a few good rounds. This time it was just one, but it was long as hell. It ended with me getting him in an armbar. I was really happy with it, too, because I didn't rush a thing at the end, which is a rarity against Andy. I kept heavy on him for longer than I thought I needed to--just to tire him a little more--and stayed smooth with my transition to the finish. Jeremy's advice for finishing an armbar and breaking a guy's RNC defense grip was perfect.

Dave is in town this weekend. He taught across town last night, and Klint said he's coming to our academy Saturday. I'm going to open mat tonight, and with any luck he might show up there. He also said that we can set up privates with him whenever he's in town in the future. I'm sure he costs something like $250-$300 an hour, but Andy and I were talking about doing it at some point and splitting the cost. Probably not for a while, but I really don't know when having a private lesson would be most beneficial. I just started in February, and I imagine that a firmer grasp on the basics would be good to have before trying to learn specific things from world class jitsukas. Not even just a firmer grasp, but a better understanding of how to implement the basics in rolling. Some of that might be a legitimate concern, some of it is probably my own insecurity with my game right now, and some of it is probably good old-fashioned being a chickenshit. But at the same time, I don't have the coin to drop on a private right now, so it's all theoretical. I'll just keep focusing on how best to counter wrestlers with what seems like decades more experience at holding guys down and not letting other guys hold them down.


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  3. The wrestler will improve his submissions and technique, but you'll likely improve your base and other things, too. So, the ability gap between you may close a bit, but maybe not as much as you might think.