BJJ class

What a difference a day makes!

24 little hours.

First of all, I’m not going to keep writing down every little technique just for the sake of it. I’m going to only write down the ones that I feel “click” for me during class, or that I feel might click. Otherwise it’s just too many techniques for a noob like me. I’m going to try to collect my thoughts on the basics, and things to remember when executing the sweeps or subs that I do know, and about the training process in general.

Back to the title of the post.

What a difference a day makes! For the last few months (too long, really…) I’ve been coasting along doing two lessons a week, basically just to keep myself in shape and maintain my level. But I was definitely not improving, despite kidding myself.

I came into the new year with new determination and an eye on competing in the spring time, and stepped up my training and for the last 3 weeks, I’ve gone either three or four times per week. And wow, what a difference.

My stamina has gone up (but I think that’s also to do with my moving house, and having to cycle home half an hour up a steep hill), my techniques are getting crisper, and I’ve felt myself finally, tangibly improving. I tested my theory at the last three training sessions, where there were people that I’ve been training with at the same rate for the last six months, and used to always give me a tough time. I was able to control them and submit them with a lot less grunting effort than I used to. The big test was this big guy who always goes all out and freaky eye poppy veins coming out whoah watch out please I broke my nose just a couple of months ago and I’m a bit paranoid stop shoving me, that guy. I watched him totally decimate a newb with his pushy shoviness, which I thought was just not on, old chap. He called me out for the next sparring sesh. I started off my usual relaxed self, thinking I’d practice my open guard sweeps, but he starts the old bullsrush hulk smash technique and something snapped in me and I said, bugger it, I’m going at his pace. I swept him, held the mount for a while, can’t remember what else, he got side control, reversed that with the dodgy triangle sweep, knee ride, finally ending with just a few seconds to go doing the bow and arrow choke (what did I call it? Cradle choke).

Yes, I know. Sparring is just for improving technique. But damn, this guy only has one speed: “WAR”. It felt good to be able to not only match his pace, but exceed it and chokalise him. Unfortunately he split his lip and got blood on my new white gi.

With my ego nicely polished, I proceeded to be nice to him for the rest of the session and all was right with the world. I told him in broken Japanese, “that’s the pace you set when you roll with everyone else.” Trying to tell him not to spazz out on everyone because one day, someone will spazz out on YOU!

Here endeth the lesson.

What did I learn?

1) When getting a grip, think about the grip. I shouldn’t just randomly grab something. If I am grabbing the collar, how deep can I go? I realised getting a good grip is more than halfway to finishing whatever collar choke you are looking for.

2) Work on a gameplan. But not too rigidly. No more random rolling and looking for opportunities. I want to start linking moves together. Use one to set up another. I want to have weekly goals and themes. This week, I’m working on my guard game. Aggressively going for armbars and triangles, and when they defend, see what opportunity I have for sweeps. And, vice versa – go for the sweep, while they worry about that, change to a sub.

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