Sunday, October 24, 2010


I hit open mat Saturday before I sang at a friend's wedding.  I started out rolling with Oscar.  To say the least, Oscar is an imposing dude.  He's a blue belt, 6'4", 220 lbs, pan-am weight class and absolute champion.  And seventeen years old.  I went excited to try to hit the sweep that Klint showed us Thursday and to keep my guard, avoid the standing pass.  Almost none of that worked.  I came damned close to hitting a butterfly guard sweep, but he was able to post on his head (which means that I was too far away from him and falling the wrong way to work the sweep).  It was a lesson in getting crushed and fighting off the collar choke from someone who is and will always be larger than me.  It was painful, but good.

After that, I worked with Nate, a brown belt with mostly the same body type as me.  So he's got great skills, and flexibility to do things like play upside down and keep guard from grange angles.  It's the kind of game I would love to have in a few years, so I love getting a chance to roll with him.   He also showed me a quick way to force someone to release an armbar defense when on their back, so that's going in the hopper.

And I rolled with Bob, the old man who suffocates you if you're stupid enough to let him get on top of you.  Thing is, he's got the perfect game to back it up--he waits and waits until you give him an opening, and then pounces, all while resting his gut on your face.  So that was a lesson in (a) surviving the wrong end of side control again, and (b) remembering to work to get on top.

That "work to get on top" lesson was a running theme for the night of fights.  Cain Velasquez absolutely demolished Brock Lesnar.  I know I don't usually talk about the fights, but Cain is a Camarillo student, and watching him work off his back and work to finish Brock for the entire first round was thrilling.  After the fight, in one of his interviews he said that he was picking his shots carefully because he didn't want to lose the top position.  It was quintessential guerrilla jiu jitsu.  And now, one of our colleagues has the belt.

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