Saturday, November 13, 2010


I live in Minnesota.  This is what it looks like outside:

Some people love it, some people hate it, and some people just bitch and moan because that's the way midwesterners deal with life.  I really don't care all that much.  The end result, though, was a class this afternoon that was just me, Andy, and Klint.  We worked Russian tie grips from standing to work wrestling entries, then went to the ground and worked threading the needle and snaking the leg (rather than dropping the elbow behind the leg) and driving a takedown.  Apparently this is what Cael Sanderson did all the time through his 159-0 run, so it may or may not work.  After our functional private, Andy and I rolled together first, then with Klint one by one.

Last night we went to open mat and I got to work with a few guys I didn't know:  Greg (blue belt, about my size), Matt (blue belt, a bit smaller than I), Casey (white belt with 6 years no-gi experience and 260 lbs of wrestling experience), and Michael (blue belt, 130 lbs).  Greg is just coming back from about 3 years off, so we started with a flow drill (armbar from guard -- defense -- triangle -- defense -- omoplata -- roll out -- recover guard -- other guy repeats) for a while.  After that we rolled pretty light, working through positions and only sweeping, letting the subs go when we ended up with them.   It was good to get that movement in, and I still need to focus on sweeps.  Matt was a tougher fight, and I was doing some very stupid things (like forgetting to break his grips on my knees in open guard and just surrendering to my back when he was passing my guard).  Still, I hit a very very fun helicopter sweep, stayed calm in bad positions, controlled position a good amount of the time, things like that.  Eventually I'll get to the point where that isn't enough to keep me happy and I want to be able to thrash whomever I roll with, but I have miles to go before that happens.

Besides, guys like Casey exist.  He wanted us to start with him in my side control.  I, being dense and not all that smart, thought to myself, "Great, I'll just smash him in this position and work from here."  Of course, his wrestling/no-gi experience and raw size and strength had other plans.  It took me 5 minutes of being squashed to realize that it would be smarter to move around him than through him.  So I started going for far-side armbars when he would bridge into me.  That was a much more successful strategy, but only for a few seconds.  After that was Michael, the tiny blue belt.  I tried not to use my strength and to work with leverage, but there's a point at which 5-6 inches and 50 lbs is a difference too great to ignore.  Still, it was good work.

So my last few days of jiu jitsu have been very, very good.  And now, I sit at home with my semi-completed homework hidden safely in my backpack, a Capital Brewery Autumnal Fire (2009 vintage -- that's right, I saved a 6-pack for a full year) opened on my right, and The Brothers Bloom playing on our television.  If you've never seen it, you should rectify that immediately.  Here's a taste:  the opening scene.

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