With aching arms and medal in hand I went along to Monday’s session. I walked in to find Dean giving the guys the summary of my adventures and doing justice to the description of the Hungarian fella. Guys if you think it sounds like an exaggeration, it really ain’t – he was a monster!
There were constant references to my medal successes throughout the night – referring to me as “champ” and suggestions that anyone that tapped me got to keep my medal…. Ain’t no-one gonna touch the champ’s bling fool! ;P
Rick covered off a slight alternative on the defence of guillotine from standing – main points, grip choke arm as before, the other arm comes right over the shoulder and you then hang weight onto the opponent. Angling the closest leg round the opponent’s leg, hips in and head over to break posture and then take the opponent to ground, working in a frame against the throat to release the guillotine. Nifty.
It was during this drill that I heard possibly the funniest quote I’ve heard during training, and true to form it came from Big Dean, delivered in a way that only he could. I was putting on the guillotine (or trying to) and Dean shouted “C’mon! Finish me, you Homo!” It was all in the delivery – really cracked me up. :D
We then went back to the combinations from the Ezekiel choke that we’d covered previously – more armbar practice for me. We also looked at some sort of collar choke – moving from Ezekiel to armbar, to choke. Rick came and positioned me into this choke as I was struggling a bit. As always, tiny changes just tightened everything up so there was absolutely no slack and made the choke work. The great thing was I could instantly feel how the things that Rick did changed everything - a real kinetic learning experience…very powerful.
On then to rolling. Rick was in good form – his rolling looked really fluid and he seemed to have 2 or 3 options in every position he took, a pleasure to watch. I tried too keep everything a lot tighter and had Dean’s words ringing in my ears to always keep moving, which I felt I did reasonably well. I still got tapped like a good’un by everyone, but that’s normal. At one point I got sort of half a mount on Big Dean and he couldn’t resist a jibe – “now mate, this is what top position looks like” – a direct poke at me going to my back at the tournament. I know I deserved it. That was about it this week. I think the bronze medal is probably a pretty reasonable indicator of where I’m at at the moment – doing OK, but still some creases to iron out.
Usual Wednesday night crew – we just trained positions, cross side. Despite my success with it last weekend, I always struggle with it – always useful to drill it. I think the major point from drilling it again was remembering that you really need to get good connections between you and the opponent – in a similar fashion to what Rick said on Monday, just suck up any gaps or slack, keep it all tight. Also, like I’m frequently told – always keep moving, small movements – these will create a reaction from the opponent which may create space or an opportunity. It’s often frustrating drilling this position, as I always get rolled off with great ease when I’m on top but on the bottom, seem to flail without any direction. However, Si pointed out that this is against Blue belts with an average 6 years plus training. I am improving, but so are they, so it’s like chasing an ever moving target. I think I just need to look at the successes I’ve had against opponents around my level and in fact, yeah, they leave the gaps or shift their weight in ways that allow me to escape, so I shouldn’t really beat myself up so much. Just gotta keep on drilling it home. The other problem at the moment is that I’m still at the conscious stage – i.e. I know what I need to do but have to think about it and often, especially with the Blue belts, my thoughts aren’t as fast as their movements, so just as I figure out what I need to do, they’ve moved. It’ll come.
Off the mat, there is a bit of talk of finding new premises, which would make a huge difference I think, not least to our ability to maybe get a few more members. Watch this space. Also, any time now, Little Dean is going to be a daddy again. Good luck mate, to you and yours.
Slightly off topic, I watched 300 this week, just out on DVD – what a great film! I only mention it as it’s a great movie, it was promoted by Chuck Liddel (UFC fighter – Ultmate Fighter…Spartans…ultimate warriors…see what they’ve done?) and the training the actors went through (some good articles here and here and a good video here) to get in shape for the movie is awesome. Highly recommended.
I’ll leave you with this little curiosity. My son (nearly 3) knows I do Jiu Jitsu and vaguely what that entails. For some reason though, when ever we drive past the local Somerfield supermarket he says “you do Jiu Jitsu there daddy?”. I’m baffled – what on earth creates a connection in a child’s mind between Jiu Jitsu and a supermarket? Answers on a postcard.