Friday, 19 October 2007

Life rolls on...

Still reeling from the stress of the weekend’s Rugby results (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot!), I went along to training as usual. Simon and Big Dean were fresh from training at Carlson’s in Tonbridge the day before and reported the usual mix of hard training, nice guys and getting owned by Wilson – the giant Black Belt instructor down there.

Rick covered an escape from under cross-side – the specifics of this being the assumption that the guy on top has wrapped his arms around you, effectively stopping you from rolling into him. A few deft moves, creating space with hands and framing with forearms and shins and you’re out, or, in some cases, able to take the back. I loved this one – it really worked and the movement seemed intuitive. Definitely one I want to try and keep in my armoury. Drilling this one move, with various scenarios off the back of it (i.e. opponent driving in, pulling back etc) was enough for this session, and one where I really felt like I’d got something I could use.

This feeling seemed to carry over into my rolling. Admittedly, Rick tapped me in all of about 5 seconds, but I did some good work against the other guys I rolled with. I got tapped eventually, but I really felt I made them work hard for it and for a lot of it was able to make escapes and keep dominant positions and make the odd threat myself. I think the difference was a sense of confidence from the earlier training (i.e. the fact that I “got” it) and also a conscious effort to stay tight, suck up the gaps (something Rick has brought home over the last few sessions). I also tried to utilise my attributes a bit more in conjunction with the developing technical aspects of my game, namely my strength (in a controlled and constant way, hopefully not in an aggressive, bullying kind of way). It didn’t work the whole time – I got swept and people made their escapes…it just didn’t feel like one way traffic, which sometimes it can.

Some might think that using these attributes is not what Jiu Jitsu is about, but I disagree. I think you should concentrate on technique first and foremost, but then you should start to bring your natural abilities to bear. Some guys are small and quick – should they “slow down”? Flexible guys can make moves that others can’t, should they not? No, of course not, so why should strong guys not use their strength? Even Rickson’s website says that he “recognizes and accepts the use of individual qualities, such as power, speed, instinct, strategy, talent, strength, etc” and that people can “achieve great results even without complete knowledge of the technique. Without question, the results are the most important elements as long as the fight strategy makes sense, and does not involve the use of thoughtless random movements.” If your technique is superior, someone using inferior technique should not prevail, regardless of physical attributes and this is constantly borne out in the whuppings I receive, but hell, it makes no sense to not use what you’ve got. Don’t misunderstand me – technique rules the roost and I’m not talking about brute force, but applying strength to good technique.

I finally got my new Gi which my wife bought me for my Birthday. You can never have enough matter how hard you try, there’s always an occasion when you have to train in a wet or dirty Gi…and that ain’t nice. It’s taken just over a month to get to me as it’s had to pass through the hands of various relatives through transatlantic travel. Anyway – it’s good and I can recommend it. It’s from HCK (Howard Combat Kimonos) and the Standard Single Weave I’ve got worked out at around £35 GBP – an absolute bargain, especially with £/$ exchange being so favourable at the moment. I think Shipping comes in around £25 (cheaper if you wanna wait a bit longer) so I guess you’re looking at around £60 all in for the standard Gi. Still not bad…many UK suppliers and importers will struggle to beat that in terms of quality and price.

On Wednesday, I arrived later than normal – stuff at home to take care of. Despite being there week in, week out, I got the usual ribbing from the guys – I didn’t even get to finish my bag of peanuts! I’ve got weight to maintain you know! Anyway, this week we went over chokes form the rear, mainly using the collar, but then digressing to other options following defences of that. It was good stuff. I think the main things that stuck were just keeping everything close, how to work the hands in for the choke, which can sometimes be a battle, and also how to control the opponent on their back.

Rolling wasn’t as successful this time, but then again I was rolling against Dean and Si. I was using strength, but in a bad way – far too much and at times, in frustration – all bad as it just gives your opponent everything he needs to submit you. And they did, time and time again. I even had Dean giving me a running commentary of what he was doing step by step and telling me how he was going to submit me and there was nothing I could do about it. It’s soul destroying. Fortunately, I have broad shoulders so remain unaffected and find it amusing. Just need to keep moving and doing what I need to do. I did pick up a nifty little escape from under knee on stomach from Dean – whether I can do it remains to be seen. But, armed with secret ninja techniques I will prevail!

There was a bizarre conversation at the end of the session which started off with quotes from Eddie Murphy movies and then moved on to Jamie Lee Curtis (the link being the movie “Trading Places”. I won’t go into details or mention any names, but all I’ll say is some people ain’t all that choosy and I guess it just goes to prove that we are indeed a diverse group. ;P

In memory of Jack Fennell 1921-2007

No comments: