Monday, 3 December 2007

Not all plain sailing....

I’ve been a bit lax posting lately, but the last couple of weeks just don’t seem to have run all that smooth.

Training Monday before last was good. Big Dean took us through a kind of grading format revision of some of the key things we’ve been doing the last few months. This was a really useful thing to do as (a) it showed us how a grading works (b) it was great revision and (c) really helped to highlight the bits we’ve forgotten, didn’t know or aren’t getting quite right. In demonstrating each technique, we had to talk through what we were doing and why, showing a clear understanding of each technique. This was really tough – you start to realise both how automatic some things have become and at the same time, just how much you don’t really understand or know – a really useful way of highlighting these things. So, big learning points and I need to start becoming a whole lot more conscious around what I’m doing again – goes to show, don’t run before you can walk. One other major thing that came out of it for me is that I appear to have been confusing and merging two separate methods of breaking guard – one with the knee up, and one with the knee down. I’m not sure how I managed this, or have gotten away with it so long, but once it was pointed out, it was so obvious why it was wrong. Time to get back to basics on that one – I fear I may have accumulated the wrong memory pattern on that one so time to make a new one.

I really struggled with the rolling this session. There was a point when I really just wanted to throw it in – it was only a fraction of time, but I just felt so frustrated, angry, hopeless and upset all at once. It felt like being a kid and wanting to throw a tantrum. It’s probably the worst I’ve ever felt at training. I just felt like I’m not getting it and unlikely ever to. It’s all passed now, and was never a threat to my continuation, in fact straight after I was back on the mat and managed to do a few bits we’d been doing the week before (taking the back) reasonably well. It’s mostly plain sailing, but occasionally the water gets a bit choppy.

An unusual breakdown in communications and childcare conspired to take training off the agenda for Wednesday and MMA on Friday respectively, but I did get in a good few workouts at the gym, which is going really well since I started on my CV only approach. No huge weight loss as yet (I need to fix my diet) – a few pounds, but my fitness has picked up noticeably from where I started about a month ago.

This week also conspired to make for only one session – Monday again. A good session with a reasonable number and Lee was down again. We worked on escapes from cross-side – always good to cover, so hard to do well. We covered the usual combinations, then trained it positionally. A good exercise. Rolling wasn’t as bad as previous weeks but wasn’t perfect. I was pleased with a cross collar choke I secured and I managed to make life hard for French Steve – a rarity not to be choked out inside 60 seconds…not so sure it was skill, but I was thinking pretty hard about what I was doing so maybe that made a difference…plus luck…sometimes it just works like that, others, you’ll be tapping within seconds of starting. I rolled with Big Dean and was working hard to walk round him (he was in a sort of “turtle” position) to take his back, but failed repeatedly. He pointed out after that simply trying to walk round will never work and referred back to the same movement we’d been practicing from cross side a few weeks earlier – keeping the hip engaged. It instantly made sense – I’d just missed the commonality of the position. This is how BJJ needs to be – you need to see everything as a principle that has just as much application elsewhere and is not tied to any one technique. Simply “collecting” techniques will be extremely limiting.

Wednesday, I travelled to Telford for work and bad traffic on the way back meant that I was never going to make training, which is a shame as it sounds like it was a good turnout, which was nice to hear. Friday night I was looking after the kids whilst the missus was out. I’m kind of hoping that having not trained so much over the last couple of weeks may have a positive effect on my rolling. Maybe this enforced break is a good thing…we’ll see.

I'm just off to training now - time to crack on and get in as much good training as I can before festive temptation sinks in!

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