Class tonight was a review of where Andy and I made mistakes at the tournament. Klint watched our videos this morning and had feedback for us immediately. The attention that we get is (I imagine) uncommon. I'd be curious to poll white belts across the nation and ask how many get personal review of their competition fights by their black belt instructor. As in so many areas of my life, I have an embarrassment of riches in the jiu jitsu corner of my life.
The feedback was good, mainly that we performed very well for our first tournament. We showed no butterflies, and the mistakes we made were exactly that: mistakes. Meaning that we can fix them. Not only that---because they were mistakes that would have given us the submission in all circumstances (both Andy and I missed triangles: Andy has more of an excuse as his legs are only average length and the triangle isn't one of his go-to's; I, though, with legs the length of Lake Shore Drive, have no reason not to snap every triangle opportunity presented me). So we went over half-guard passes from the top, guard recovery from half-guard bottom, combinations from a failed hip-bump sweep, mount escapes, and getting to guard from turtle. We covered a lot of material, but it was all material that would have changed the outcomes on Saturday, and they were fresh in our minds. So more positional drilling this week, and those should be internalized.
On a related note---I need cardio. Cardio killed me. I was lost before I even stepped to the mat for my Absolute fight, and the last minute of my second round fight was embarrassing at best. Of course, we have one main problem: I hate running like fat kids hate diets. Running is a terrible way to spend your time, and it does terrible things to your knees. My right knee is touchy right now, so that's particularly relevant. It also gives you new lungs and a larger gas tank. So I need to find a way to give me the cardio benefits of running without actually running. I do have a bike. It is a 1981 Raleigh road bike with 5 gears. Of course, it seems that it takes a longer ride to get the same work as out of a run. I also have a very few kettlebells. I might get a few more and a yoga mat, work through all that in the basement on days I don't train. As I understand it, kettlebells are supposed to be outstanding cross-training for jiu jitsu. Lots of hip movement and strength building, plenty of cardio, and easy to stow in the corner.
What does everyone else do to build cardio? Because even though training a few times a week has done wonders relative to where I was a few months ago, it's not enough to stay competitive over the course of a tournament. I need more. Any suggestions?
And finally: I've found ways to think about jiu jitsu as it relates to just about everything else in my life. I have not done well to discuss those connections in this space. I will make a conscious effort to correct that, and to make this a bit more interesting not only to readers who don't train, but even to those who do.