BJJ April 26 & 27

My cough/cold/allergy/plague thing threatened to resurface during the last week, plus my ear felt like if you so much as breathed on it it would pop and shower your face with blood and gore, so I didn’t train. I went back last night with some mild trepidation but everything was still in order. My small measure of skill had not disappeared into the ether and I still feel ready for the competition.

There is something… I don’t know. Wholesome? Satisfying? Supremely geeky? About training late into the night on a Saturday with a group of people who share your love for your sport. While most young men and women are out pickling their livers with multicoloured, overpriced drinks, we were in a sweaty little dojo training our underpants off.

The black night outside the windows, the occasional drunken reveller on his way home weaving to the window and then weaving away again, mystified, with 1970s punk blaring out of the stereo, we trained hard. There was a blue, a purple, a couple of whites, and our coach the black belt. I worked on my takedowns for the competition, with some success.

I’ve christened my first move the Cross Pick. I have no idea if it is a real move, being out here in the bubble, but basically I armdrag across my body. This brings my opponent closer to me, hopefully planting their foot in front of me. Then I drop down and across and pick the leg and work the single leg. I was actually able to do it on my instructor last night, but he does weight 20 kilos less than me. My backup plan, kind of like a suicide move, is the uchi mata, a judo flip basically, which leaves my back exposed but if I commit to it hard enough, and follow up with something else, it shouldn’t be too high risk. They will have to work on defending it before they can counter it.

I was able to collar choke a purple belt but he is quite a laid back kind of guy who has “retired” from competition so I don’t think he was too bothered.

That was last night, and I decided to go today, too, as I had been slack the week preceding. Today was much more laid back. I rolled with two young kids who I think enjoy rolling with me, basically because I am a foreigner. They are fun to roll with. A brother and sister. The sister is actually tougher than the brother and moves really well. She will be good when her body develops and she has some strength to add to her technique.

My instructor leant me his earguard because my ear is really painful. I figured I would be safe with the little girl and not need it.

Big mistake. At the end of rolling, I was moving into side control and she suddenly sat up and headbutted me square in the fucking ear. I can’t tell you how excruciating it was. Imagine having an ear that feels like it has been inflated to bursting point and that the slightest breeze wiffling over it causes your nerves to spasm like so many retarded jellyfish (?). Now imagine someone headbutting the crap out of that ear. OUCH. I tried to laugh it off, I think she felt pretty bad, but it was incredibly painful. Suffice to say I used the headguard after that which turned out to be pretty useful.

The ear may be a problem in competition though… I had to tap out to the Whitebelt Headlock (TM) today because my ear hurt too much. Hmm.

Just found out that Ao-san will also be entering the competition in May. It’s great to have another person from the dojo coming. Not so great is that he is seriously good and competing in the same category as me! Shit-flaps! Maybe we can meet in the finals…

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Weekend Stuff

I took a few days off training for various reasons. Tonight though I’m off to OJJ.

Yesterday I went into the city with the missus and checked out my favourite overpriced Reversal stockist, and lo and behold the famous “Who says the striker can’t grappling?” t-shirt was there!

With Reversal t-shirts costing as much as a small island nation, I could simply stand and stare with my tongue hanging out. The shopkeeper saw my tattered jeans and non-gold-plated head and promptly shooed me out of the shop, but not before I had a chance to snap this baby:

My BJJFJ membership card came through, ysss! *fist pumps air* Ysss! That means I can now… um… well, it means fuck all except I’m 2000 yen poorer and I now have the priviledge of paying to enter lots of competitions. Woo.

Last but not least, some Lego models of World Heritage sites, on display at a shopping centre. Fascinatingz!

One more thing… anyone who has cauliflower ear out there… how long does it hurt for? Mine has been tender for about a week, and even though I took about four days off training, it’s still hot and hurts like buggery. It doesn’t help that a three year old punched me in the ear the other day, but still…

Cauliflower update

Condition: red.

Status: ouch.

Negatives:

  • Answering a phone hurts.
  • iPod earbuds sliding out at inopportune moments

Positives:

  • Hot women throwing themselves at my feet
  • The above may be a lie

BJJ April 13

First things first: I’m feeling great!

Had a good Sunday session. There was about nine people there, a mix of whites and blues.

My game is coming along nicely. I can deal with pretty much everyone except my coach and the higher blues and purples. My stamina is good, my strength is functional, my kneecaps are stable, my earlobes are at the appropriate consistency.

There was a guy there from the HQ, Paraestra Tokyo. He is the same class as me… Blue belt, pena weight class, and he’s competing in the All-Japan tournament very soon. Coach kind of saved us up to spar each other until the end so there was a bit of a build up.

I knew it would be a good test for me as he was the same stats as me, from Paraestra HQ, and he would obviously be in good shape if he was competing in All Japan. We started standing and went for six minutes, so it was basically the same as a competition.

I have a way of giving up in my mind before I’ve even started in situations like this. I think, “oh shit, he must be good,” or “I should lose to this guy, so I will,” or I’m just not confident to be doing the things I should be doing.

This time, though, I was ready. I tried a couple of takedowns which didn’t work but was able to pull guard which I was happy with. Although the fight wasn’t fireworks, I was able to control him and negate almost all of his attacks. He was definitely surprised and probably a little frustrated. He did manage to pass my guard in the end but that was it for the whole six minutes. I had almost got him with a collar choke and threatened him with a triangle or two.

For me, that was enough. I am pretty sure that he was on top of his game so for me to be able to hold him off and in put pressure on him, and only drop a couple of points, was good news.

I learnt a very valuable lesson which I am going to make into a separate post.

In other news, I am definitely getting cauliflower ear in my left ear. I am pretty pleased about it, but it fucking hurts. It has been building up for the past week or so, and now it is tender every day, and blazing red and swollen after training.

It doesn’t look like much in photos actually but it’s a doozy and there’s some definite skin foldage going on.

If I can keep up this pace and condition then bring on the Copa South!