Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Advances, None Miraculous*

* Deadwood (TV Series), Season 2 Episode 10.  If you like good storytelling and better language, you should watch this show.  Only 3 seasons of 12 hour-long episodes.  1/4 the investment LOST demands.

More class tonight.  Only four of us--myself, Stan (blue), Eric, and new Jeremy.  Purple Jeremy has a fight in November, so he's off to train with Camarillo & co. at AKA in California to maintain and extend his undefeated professional MMA record.  So while he gets even better, he leaves us with a black belt to roll with after class.  Can't really complain, now, can I?

We worked more open guard sweeps tonight, power sweeps and a super-slick sit-up sweep that ends with you holding his arm between his legs while you climb into a mounted triangle.  At least, that's how it ends when your partner isn't resisting.  Live, I'm curious to see if it maintains.  After drilling those, we worked on our grip strength by cross-choking each other a handful of times, and then rear naked choking each other again, and finally working a loopy collar choke that I'll have to work on again before I can even think to use it.  All good things to work.

I rolled with Eric a bit right after, putting him in my closed guard and telling him to get out.  It almost always ended with him tapping to an armlock.  I think I choked him once and took his back once.  Then, Klint came in and Eric and I took turns getting demolished by him.  I almost passed his guard once--as in I had him on the defensive and made him roll (which is a big thing), and then he somersaulted or something and he was back in full guard and I was upside down and mounted.  But I was this close.  So that lasted for a while, and when I felt the smallest tweak on my neck, I (for once) listened to my better angels and called it a night.

I ended up sitting and talking with Klint about my game and what I can do to improve, etc.  Strange how you start doing that, he shows you a few things to work on, and you chat about it some more, and suddenly 30 minutes have disappeared.  I got some great feedback, and it was the first time I felt like I could talk with no apprehension or filter about my game with my instructor.  No one else was there, and we had just spent 20 minutes working after he'd watched me work for another 15.  He had roughly the same assessment of my abilities as I had, which was nice to hear.  It also, though, tells me that I know where I need to work and should start doing it more and more often.  My sweeps need serious work.  Guard opening and guard passing is probably where I feel least comfortable, so I'll try to change up my general tactics there with some of the ideas he gave me.  He also reinforced the benefits that going to open mat across town has had.  Even though I'm not really putting him in danger when we roll, he's seeing improvement and--as I said yesterday--I just need to start attacking more aggressively.  It doesn't matter that he's going to beat me in the end--attacking tentatively (i.e., coaxing the beast out from its cave to see what it does when you come face to face before formulating a plan) necessarily puts me a step behind.  I'm waiting for him to pose a problem for me to solve.  Bad idea.

That was pretty much Napoleon's plan:  first we'll show up, then we'll see what happens.  No more of that.  It didn't work out too well for him in the end.  Better to run head-long into the wall and leave a me-shaped hole behind for now.  I can learn to temper myself later.  I hear that comes with age.

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