Saturday, December 18, 2010

Subtle Differences

...if by subtle you mean obvious.

I went to Damian's class yesterday morning.  Damian is another of Dave's black belts in Minnesota.  He and Klint have trained together since they were white belts.  (His is the school linked through the "Jiu Jitsu * CrossFit" image on the sidebar.)  Where Klint's build is that of a shortstop, Damian's is a rugby hooker or prop--he is wide and full of muscle.  Ed once said that there is a reason Damian chose a bull as his logo.  He is offering seminars over the next few months, inviting anyone who wants to attend from any school.  It's a voluntary donation setup, and all proceeds go towards the Children's Heart Foundation, helping newborns with heart complications.

The focus of the seminar was guard passing.  "Smashing the Guard:  Using Weight and Pressure to Pass Guard."  Because of his body type, his game is much more about constant pressure than Klint's.  The amount of attention that we paid to our hips and using them or just about every movement surprised me a little bit.  Not a lot--I mean, I may be a white belt, but I know the importance of the hips.  OK, "know" might be a strong word.  I am aware that the hips are very very important, even if I am unable to use them effectively.  We spent a lot of time on the concept of floating on our opponent, using gravity and balance to keep pressure on them.

About 30 people attended.  I don't know exactly how many came from other schools, but I think at least 5-8.  After, we had time to train.  I worked with Tim, Greg, and Brady (purple, blue, and purple).  It was not my best day.  I don't think it was bad enough to embarrass my grandmother, but it was at least enough to make her grit her teeth.  Tim strapped on at least 5 bow and arrow chokes before tiring of me.  I wish I could say I put up a valiant fight.  He was working his game, and I was apparently acting as his dummy.  Greg and I were closer, but I still was not on my game.  A few things worked, but more and more I kept realizing I was in a shit position about half a second before I lost it and ended up worse.  I did a few things right---got to his back once, pretty sure I found an armbar at some point.  I was getting pretty tired and thus pretty sloppy.  He was getting me much better than I him.  And Brady---the forty pounds I have on him matter less and less with every roll.  And his purple belt is fitting better and better. He was very complimentary to Andy and I, saying that each time he trains with us he notices serious improvement; that he'll sit and thin, "I'll just see what they do here" and we'll take the out he's left us and he has to adjust quickly to get back to safety.  It isn't cold comfort--it is always good to hear that what progress I notice is not entirely in my own head.  I will say, though, that I did not feel like I represented Klint and his academy well today.

Dave says that not every day of training will be easy.  Training today was on the "hard" side of the ledger.

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