Fall down, get up

Romaji: Nana korobi, ya oki
Literally: Seven falls, eight getting up
Meaning: Fall down seven times, get up eight times. An encouragement to persevere (ganbaru)
Notes: From the verbs korobu and okiru respectively


Basically, fall down seven times, get up eight.

It’s a saying I hear in judo sometimes, and I really like it.

What is it about sayings that are so great? I think it’s that they let you know that whatever you are going through, someone else has been through it. In fact enough people have been through it that there’s a saying about it. A problem shared is a problem halved, they say, so to know that other people have shared your misery makes you feel better.

Lately I’ve been a little disappointed with my circumstances. I fought off a weird stomach bug. But as soon as that cleared up, I came down with a mega cold, as I am wont to do roughly every three weeks. It fucking sucked!

I had really been on a roll in training. Things were coming along nicely. I could handle all the people who usually gave me problems, almost with ease. I was feeling ready for the comp in March.

Now, though, I’ve missed two weeks of jiu jitsu, haven’t done any weights or BWE, and my rythm is all fucked up. I definitely won’t be able to compete, and it has really pissed me off.

My first ever medal, two years ago… happy days

Luckily I remembered this saying, and decided that I’ve just fallen down, and I need to get back up. So on Saturday morning, when my body is begging me to stay in bed, I’m going to drag myself down to the dojo and get back in the saddle. I’ll be back to square one (or, I don’t know, square ten or something) where I’m having trouble submitting people and squirming around under side control all day long. But I’m sure I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs Karo Parisyan

These two guys are UFC fighters now. Interesting to see their old judo days… Hardcore. You can see how strong judo makes you. I’d hate to grapple with Karo Parisyan, it must be like grappling someone made out of oak.

Slick Judo

That’s it, really.

Holy Martial Arts Demonstration, Batman!

This may just be the most awesome BJJ demonstration in the world.

Chuck Norris.

Carlos Machado.


Driving Anthemic Pump-up Music.

Set your earlobes to stun and your eyeballs to awesome and enjoy!

Training, early Feb.

jiu jitsu training

Things are going good. I think the combination of getting over my cold, keeping up my rudimentary strength training routine, and twice a week BJJ / once a week judo is really starting to pay off.

The last few times I’ve been to training have been “good days” where everything just slots in place. I feel that I’m at a good level already, and I still have a month until the comp. I hope I can crank it up further before the comp. I always hear the coaches in the MMA interviews talking about how they ensure their fighters peak at the right time before the fight. Well I’m going to try to do that for myself.

The plan is to keep doing what I’m doing now, which has given me big improvements, and add to that at least one hardcore jiu jitsu session per week. These are the late night classes where you get pushed really, really bloody hard.

I’m able to push and attack for the whole six minutes at the moment. I want to be able to go harder though so I will make sure that I am working all the time during class. No slacking off!

I’m able to finish people at the moment, too, which is good. Sometimes my subs don’t work for me, especially against some people, but lately they are working pretty good. So I hope I can keep this up for another month, and then I’ll be ready for the comp.

Judo 30 Jan

Hitting each other with cleaning implements is an essential part of any judo regime.

judo4.jpgA great judo session. My drills are very, very slowly coming along.

Randori was good. I am slowly getting a feel for balance, timing, etc. The main thing I want to achieve, as I’ve said before, is just a little experience standing up so that it’s no surprise at the BJJ comps, and I can look all cool and calm when I’m standing instead of hopping around like a baby giraffe on drugs.

We also did some intense “circuit” training, where someone barks out commands for a minute (DASH! SIT UPS! PRESS UPS! SWITCH! JUMP! SPRAWL! etc.) which is great for short-term energy levels, endurance, and is just plain killer. We did three rounds of that with I think a 20 second break in between.

Some pictures



Plan of Action

I want to compete in March.

I want to compete, and I want to win.

It’s far away (an hour and a half drive, I think), and it’s already a quarter of the way through the year, so I have to start my winning ways.

I don’t want to come home without a medal.

So I have just over a month to prepare. My last performance (my first at blue belt), I lost via submission in a few minutes in the first fight, and lost a close match on points in the absolute division. So I have a big leap to make if I want to do well this time.

Where I am at now.
Here’s the situation now. I’m just getting back into regular gear after a few months of on and off training, time off, and illnesses due to the shitty cold weather. I’m about a kilo away from the pena weight limit (up to 70kg with the gi) so losing the weight should be no problem at all. Just cut out deserts, donuts and biscuits for a few weeks.

Conditioning wise, my job teaching kids is hard work, I cycle and walk every day, and even during quiet periods I train a couple of times a week. So not too bad. But, I definitely don’t have the juice to go 110% for the full six minutes, which is my aim.

Strength wise, I’ve been sloppy at using my weights and chin up bar lately, so I’m not as strong as I could be.

Skill wise, I feel I just clawed my way into blue belt by the skin of my eyeballs, but since then, I’ve settled into it. So I believe I’m an average blue for now. I can triangle people and scissors sweep people and armbar people, but if I get caught snoozing I get swept on my butt, my open/spider/butterfly guard needs work and I can only think of about 3 things at a time.

Pumpitude wise, I’m pretty low.

How to fix it.
I’m going to basically headbutt the wall a few times, watch lots of jiu jitsu fights, watch my old jiu jitsu fights, punch some trees in the mouth, kick a few dogs, read some wing chun forums until I get nerd-rage, and generally claw at random passers-by to increase my level of pumpitude.

Jiu jitsu: push myself at all times until I can go for six minutes at a time, all out, maybe five or six times in a row. Attend at least one circuit training class (10 to 11:30pm… yikes.) a week. Judo: keep up the drills and randori on Wednesday nights. Make every push up, sit up and pull up count.

At least twice a week, push myself to use my chin up bar, my free weights and my exercise ball. Stick to basics, fifteen or so reps, 3 or so sets. I’m not exactly trying to be Arnold Stallone here, just a little to improve my strength. That’s along with the usual zillions of pushups and situps at jiu jitsu.

Watch a bunch of fights and instructional DVDs, pick my instructor’s brains, but basically just keep it simple and come up with a gameplan.

Standup work
The Wednesday night judo practice is doing wonders for my confidence. Before, the single scariest thing about competing was the standup. I had no fucking idea what to do. So even though I know I’m not going to judo flip anyone on their head, at least I won’t be quivering with inexperience when the guy yells “combate”.

The gameplan
Watch this space. But basically I am going to work in broad strokes beforehand, and leave the fine details to paint themselves in on the day.