Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I had familial obligations last night, so I went to train across town in the morning.  The technique was a spider guard sweep to a leg loop sweep.  The spider guard sweep was new to me, but the leg loop is basically the same thing that Klint teaches except with a slightly different way to come on top.

I spent a lot of time training afterwards.  I felt like I had the kind of day that keeps bringing you back to get hurt some more.  Rolled with a two-stripe white (roughly my size), and felt great.  We alternated starting in each other's guard, and I felt in control and aware the whole time.  After that, I helped Greg warm up and we rolled a little bit.  He was late, so he didn't participate in class.  After a little while, we fell into conference mode.  We got stuck discussing the bow-and-arrow choke, talking about the preferred way to shoot a triangle (trying to cut the angle while you shoot the triangle, or making it a separate step), and I showed him what we went over in class.

I finally got a chance to roll with Master Worley.  He was Klint's tae kwon do instructor back (back back back) in the day, multiple time world champion, and now a purple belt under Damian.  I was very happy with how that roll went.  I don't remember how we started--I imagine I pulled guard, and worked for a sweep, I don't really remember--but eventually, I ended up on top in his half guard and proceeded to mount.  Once there, I was actually able to keep it.  At one point, I was on bottom, got to my knees and wrestled him onto the bottom.  I did a handful of things that I've been consciously working on and trying to better integrate into my game.  So that was encouraging.  I also rolled with someone new, a blue who caught me with a kimura from the bottom of half guard.  Which brought me back to reality.

Jeremy gave me an assignment--to define my BJJ game/style.  If someone were to watch me roll, how would they define my game/style?  I am having difficulty with this because  I've never had a reputation as a particularly self-aware person.  I feel like I'm still learning how to move my arms and legs at the same time.  One thing that I hope I am when rolling is deliberate, but I don't know that anyone would describe my game as "deliberate."  I'm not explosive (Jeremy is dynamite in a gi thanks to years of wrestling), nor am I supremely efficient (Damian does not waste a single movement).  I'm not lightning (Dave), I'm not exact (Klint), I'm not analytical nor crushing nor heavy nor suffocating.  This doesn't mean that I am never any of these things, only that I would not use them to describe the essence of my game.  At this point, I'm pretty thrilled that my game is not spastic.  (Though, to be fair, there are times when it can be.)  I guess right now, I would call my game wiry.  I have long limbs, and try to use that to my advantage at every opportunity. .... This is a much harder task than I thought it would be.  If I could watch myself roll for a while and not get wrapped up in what I didn't do in a particular situation, it might be easier.  But really, this is now a larger assignment about which to think for a few days before returning to elaborate further.  In other words, I really don't know, but I'll get back to you. 


  1. Interesting that your assignment is to find a "style". I was just reading at Jiu-jitsu Brotherhood about that, and the article said that generally people haven't really defined their "style" until around purple belt. I'd be uncomfortable trying to define my style right now because I feel so limited in my knowledge. In my case it would be like telling a third grader to pick their college major. I'll be curious to hear what you discover about yourself, and to hear if you think it helps your development. Have you thought of recording a few sparring sessions and watching yourself to see if you can pick out a style?

  2. The short answer is that yes, I have considered recording a few sparring sessions, see what comes of it. Of course, the full answer is a bit longer, having to do with borrowing the equipment and finding willing training partners. I like your analogy to asking a third grader to pick his profession--well put.