I snuck up to Canada again this past weekend for another BJJ tournament. With over 700 competitors registered, of which 30 where females, I knew this was definitely going to be a great weekend! Two of the guys from my team and I arrived ready to go and I was up first in Gi. First opponent was a girl, who I keep trading matches with (I’m planning on ending this streak soon). I had won the last match at a tournament in Montreal, but I was gunning for the win. After a back and forth standing game, I jumped guard (a new part of my game that I’m working on) and proceeded to work for stuff. She passed into my half guard, and as I was working for an underhook and trying to get my hips out, she secured a kimura. This is the move she always goes for, so I knew it was coming, but too late this time, she caught me and I tapped. 0-1.
Next opponent, I got in tight and secured a hip throw with me landing in side control. I racked up the points with knee on belly, mount, and a sweep, to finally getting the finish with an armbar. 1-1.
On to absolutes… First up, the girl I lost to in the gi division. Back and forth again on our feet, but I wasn’t letting her get anything. She jumped guard and after breaking open the guard and getting underhooks, I was working for the pass. I was almost able to consolidate it, but she rolled up into turtle position. She then managed to get control of my side when I was in turtle, but I pulled off my sneaky turtle roll. People know it’s coming, but it’s hard to stop. I rolled her through and transitioned into north south, with her on her back, getting myself an advantage point. She regained guard and we worked from there, with me almost getting a guard pass, but to no avail. Ending score, 0-0, but 1-0 me, in the advantage column, giving me the win. 2-1.
Next match was for 1st place in absolute. We went back and forth again while standing and she finally jumped guard. She had a close triangle submission attempt, but I popped my head out and proceeded to pass her guard. She was trying to turtle up to her knees, but I did knee on belly on her side, resulting in her turning back into me. I took advantage of this and worked my foot over and got myself into mount. I tried for a collar choke, but she blocked it well, so then I went for an Americana shoulder lock. As she was defending this, I snuck my arm under her head, flattened her out, and went for an ezequial choke using my sleeve. I snuck my choking hand in and flattened myself out over the choke to add more pressure, finally getting the tap and the win. 3-1.
Sunday was nogi, and first up was the girl I beat in the gi division with an armbar. While standing I secured a duckunder, and took her down with a back trip. I landed in mount and proceeded to rack up points, as I moved to take her back when she tried to roll out of it. I tried for the rear naked choke, but couldn’t get it. Then during a scramble she swept me and landed in mount. I bumped her hard and got to my side, catching a foot lift and regaining half guard and then finally full guard. I came close to an armbar with her in my guard, but I couldn’t get the leverage. I tried some other submission attempts, but time ran out, and with the final score 106, one more win to add to the record. 4-1.
Last match of the day was against my “nemesis” that I keep going back and forth with; again, I plan on ending this pattern. The match consisted of us standing and trying to catch the other and take them down. She shucked me down, but couldn’t get around, but she got 2 points for a takedown. Later I went to my knees to try and sit out, but ended up giving her 2 more points, what the heck? Dumb move. End result, her 4-0 on points for the win. Overall record for the weekend, 4-2.
I took a lot out of this tournament and I have a bunch of stuff to work on. However I need to finish up school and I will be into training hard this summer. I keep having a lot of almost or could of been moments. This summer I’m going hunting for submissions, good takedowns, and more work on having people in my guard.
I’m finally getting over that dry cough crud that’s been going around. Still coughing some when I’ve been working out hard, been outside in the dry cold, or when my throat feels like it, but for the most part, it’s over with, thank god. I “luckily” got it right before a weekend, then had two days of school, followed by Thanksgiving break, during which there was no BJJ. Nice…
First day back was tough, I felt like an athsmatic with a fat kid on my chest, but I tried to go with people who would be somewhat “nice” so it wasn’t too bad. We worked on attacking from within your opponents halfguard. Some of the attacks were an inverted armlock, the darce with and without the arm, and a spinning armbar to the top arm. We also went over knee sliding through and getting the kimura and another armlock sweep, to knee on belly, where you can still keep the inverted armlock. Second day was spent reviewing the previous techniques and we moved onto working from yioour guard. Went over controlling the opposite arm with a cross body grip on the sleeve and the same side arm on the armpit. Instead of armdragging, you moved your hips out, keeping a good grip on the sleeve of the arm, and then reaching around behind the head and grabbing it with the opposite hand. from there we had a sweep, or you could go into a choke, grabbing the collar, and then slicing through behind the head. Follwed up the sweep with submissions.
Before break I had ordered some new BJJ DVDs, Glovers DHG, BJJ Worlds 2009, and Bears HG DVD, and was really surprised to find them waiting for me on the porch the WEednseday before Thnaksgiving. I spent break watching a lot of the female matches and the purple and brown belt matches, concentrating more on the matches where there was little butt scooting, or guard jumping. I think it looks really dumb when you have two brown belts staring each other down before a match, then once the match starts, they both flop to their butts, and are fighting each other while they are on their sides, fighting to be on bottom. It’s like neither wants anything to do with takedowns or throws, so they just skip over it and sit down or jumpguard.
ANyhow, there were some other matches that were definitely exciting to watch and learn from. Plus I had my half guard dvds to watch. I’ve been trying to play with the DHG lately and I’ve had some mixed results. Glovers DVD helped me identify some of my mistakes I was making, so I plan on spending the next couple weeks cleaning up those mistakes and then moving on to trying some of the other sweeps I’ve yet to try. One problem I do have to worry about when in the DHG and in HG too, is protecting my neck. Most of the guys are too wroried about getting swept, but a couple of the upper level guys are catching me once and a while. I’ve been thinking lately on what guard position I want to start working on next. I’m leaning towards butterfly, because it’s been a while, and I also want to start working on sweeps again.
I’m planning on competing at PanAms this year and theres about 18 weeks left. So far, I think we have about 4 people committed to competing but it would be awesome to get more. There’s about 10 people that I think could do really well, they juts need to commit and start preparing themselves
So I’ve been trying to work on going for the kill lately. I’ve been getting myself to some good positions, but then my mind has been going blank as to what to submit my opponent with. Luckily I have an instructor who seems to be pretty good at reading my mind (or at least seeing that I’m not finishing) and we’ve spent this week going on submissions from the mount. We went over the kimura, americana, and armbar from the mount. These reminded me of a sneaky move where you’re going for the americana but “accidently” leave a big gap through which your partner can reach through to protect their arm. However as they start to turn and reach over to grab the arm in the americana, you switch to an armbar. These were nice review and I saw some things i could do to clean up some things I was doing. Then tonight we went over a bunch of options you have when you start to lose the armbar from mount.
One option was if your opponent starts to sit back up, your crossface them with your top arm(arm closest to the head) and sort of drag their arm with your other hand, bringing your top leg around the back, taking the back. The next option, begins with before you go back into the armbar, you have control of both arms, so it’s possible you get the armbar, but if you accidently(or purposely) lose that arm you still have control of the opposite arm. From here, you control that arm and start to bend it back towards their feet as you scoot your hips/ butt away from your opponent. This pulls your opponent over onto their belly and into an omoplata. Now you can finish the submission, or move your leg over their back to their other side, and take their back(maybe have a chicken wing on that arm that could have omoplata’ed).
Another move, begins with when your top leg is not over their head and you have control of the arm you were trying to armbar. With this next move, you start in the spot mentioned above and you’re pushing their head away, then as they begin to sit up, you swing your top leg over their head, and bend their arm into an omoplata. YOur opponent has to go with you, or else they can really tweak their elbow. If this move doesn’t really work or they start to come up to their knees, you have the triangle you can move into or if you keep control of their arm, you can transition into an armbar. With the armbar, you have an overhook on their arm and make sure to clamp together on their wrist/hand between your elbow/ side. From here, you cup over their elbow with your opposite hand and turn it inwards, or keep a tight grip and go hips up into it.
You can also move into s-mount, where there are some awesome submissions you can do. Then there are some armbars, where you have an overhook on their arm and a hook with your foot/ankle on their neck. First, you can pinch with your knees, and hips up. Another you start to turn to your side and keep a tight grip on the arm, then straighten out your body.
I’m sure there are some other ones we went over that I’m missing, but there’s a lot of different things you can play with from here.
I dealt with some painful muscling at the beginning of the week, but it seems like I’ll get a chance to end it on a good note. Over time, I feel like I’ve improved my control positions to a point where I feel somewhat comfortable with most whites and blues, and an occasional purple that’s probably toying with me, but heck I’ll pretend too. I’ve been trying to work on maintaining good pressure and improve my timing so I’m not getting stagnant in one position or another. (But definitly need to keep working on it). I had a private on Tuesday, dealing with these things and it was very enlightening. Anyhow, they say a student reflects a similar image of what their instructor is good at, and my instructor loves knee on belly and his pressure can be downright painful at times(if not most).
Tonight I went to openmat for about three hours and we went over some great positions from half guard and also some options you can go to from when you might lose an armbar form the mount. First the half-guard… We worked on a nice sweep with a couple of options that depend on what your opponent does in response. You start off in half guard(let’s say on your opponents right leg), then you get a good grip on the gi behind the persons armpit with the left hand, and scoop under their other leg at about the knee. With the first one, you have an underhook on your opponent, you wnat to load up your opponent onto you while keeping your gi grip tight, then you continue your sweep over to your left side. Once you’ve swept them, you keep a tight scoop under their knee ad keep the leg high to prevent them from locking you in half guard. While doing this, you squeeze your knees together on their bottom leg(again to prevvent their locking up half guard) , then you slide your leg out, then hook under their knee with your foot(while still on your side) and finish by going to knee on belly. With the second one, you start off the same, but your opponent gets an underhook on your top arm that has the gi grip. This can actually make the sweep a little easier. Again you load up and follow through to knee on belly. The third one, is where they have the underhook, but as your sweeping them they post out with their hand. You might be able to still follow through with the sweep, but if not, you reverse the sweep and come out the side and drive into them.
School has been going a lot better since I’ve decided to withdrawal from one class and just take it next semester. Since I’ve chosen to do this, this will mean an extra semester of schoo. As much as I have a hard time dealing with being cooped up in a classroom, I just feel that I’ve reached a point where I can’t get away with taking three math/ computer science classes at the same time on top of taking two education classes, with one requiring 50 hrs of observation during the semester. During the school week, I’m busy with either school, observation, BJJ, working out, or doing homework, from about 530Am until 2AM on the nights that I don’t have to do observation the following morning(instead it’s till 12AM). So with my new setup, I’ll finsih th efour classes I have this semester, take about four next semester, do student teaching in the fall, and finish up the following spring, with probably two math classes and to be full time, maybe some physical education classes(maybe Judo, wrestling, swimming, etc ; >).
I’m about half way done with observation and so far I feel it’s going great. It’s kind of frustrating trying to show I’m comfortable working with the kids when there really isn’t enough kids to go around. I’m doing special education this semester and I’m in a 12-1 class with a content teacher and a taching assistant. However in the two classes I observe, the first has 9 kids but only 2-4 come regularly, and the second only has two kids, wow. When there are 4 kids in the first class, I can actually snag a kid to help, however at times there might not be time left in the calss to classwork. Anyhow in th efirst class, again theres the content teacher, the teaching assistant, an interpreter and a notetaker(both for one student), another teacher who has a planning period and me. Then including me, that’s a 6-4 adult/student ratio, then with the second class theres still a 3-2 ratio. However this week I finally got to teach a lesson, so they were all mine, all 6 of them over the two periods.I felt like the lesson went well, and I the kids were well behaved for me whcih was greatly appreciated. Right now I have about 20 hours left, so I should be done in a couple of weeks. I’m definitly looking forward to having a couple more hours of sleep.
Had an awesome 4 day weekend. Went to Saturday BJJ class to train, but there was only three of us, so after mulling back and forth, we decided to have lunch instead, (Doesn’t help me work my way back down the weight ladder), but had fun chatting with the guys. Afterwards they headed into the city to see some recording of a “guys” BJJ instructional, and I headed out to the house to visit family. Spent Saturday and Sunday out there, but came back Sunday night because I had to do observation Monday morning. I spent most of the morning at observation, then I came back with the idea of doing homework, but I decided to take a “short” nap. That short nap ended up being about a 3 hr nap, and then I had BJJ at night. However I spent most of Tuesday, hacking away at homework and finished up the more important items.
I had a good BJJ class Monday night and then on Tuesday, I had my first private with my instructor. We worked on/ talked about pressure and timing and it was very helpful. Something to always keep working on . Then we had the afternono class righ tafterward. It surprisingly was a good size class with about 6 people (3 of which were girls). We went over some self-defense stuff and the double leg takedowns., then finally got to technique. I ended up working with the new girl, which was fine, however when we started to roll, I was trying to get her to start moving around and she tried muscling. Really? Yeah you’re strong for a girl, but seriously, at least try and do the moves we’ve been working on, that I’m telling you about while we’re rolling. Not stiff arming me on the biceps in the guard. Next roll I went with one of the guys and I had a good technical roll with him, but he also puts a good beating on me. I keep getting into the “play” mindset and giving up stuff I shouldn’t be or getting into spots I shouldn’t be in. Last roll I went with one of our bigger guys who’s a blue belt. He’s only been back for about a week after a four month break, so I have a lot harder time going with him now, then I used to when he was coming continuously. He’s definitly stronger than I am and bigger, but once and a while we can get a good flow going. This time, it didn’t happen. I got him in my guard, where he proceded to try and choke me with his forearm. Then after scrambling to try and get out, I got into half guard, wehre he started using my gi to choke me with it. It felt like my head was going to pop off, so had to tap. Next time, worked to be on top, but got bench pressed off, and again, the forearm and head popping. Was pretty pissed at this time, but kept rolling, and he started to get more tired, so i was getting to better positions. Finally he called it, and I kindof left pretty quickly. I really, really hate being muscled. I can deal with getting beat technically, but I really get frustrated with the muscling. It’s partly my own fault for putting myself in certain positions but still frustrating.
It’s like they lose their brain out the window and it’s replaced with this testosterone, chest-beating, muscle-laden pea brain, that makes them have to show you who’s boss.
Just finished up midterms week in school. It semed like there was either an exam, a big project/ paper, or both, due every single day. But it’s finally Friday. Ahhh, went to class, turned in a paper, went back to my room and did absolutely nothing, at least until it was time for BJJ Openmat. Only one other person showed up and he wasn’t vrey motivated so we both just made excuses to each other, then left, maybe twenty minutes later. Whatever, I’ll get a good nights rest tonight, then tomorrow I’ll start up the weekend with a great BJJ class with the guys. I’m working on getting more people to come to the weekend classes. Some thought it was just a wrestling class, but I dispelled that myth and now they’re interested, good stuff. The more, the merrier.
This week, another person and and I started meeting to workout, on the days we don’t have classes in the mornings. It’s get in, go hard, then get out. We got in one day, but midterms caught up with me and her son got sick, so hopefully we’ll get it going again this next week.
I’m tired of “playing” in the 160 and over weight class. This and also the need to get into great shape for the Pan-Ams tournament in April, has motivated me to up the workouts and down the bad eating habits. This last week went great and I exceeded were I wanted to be weight wise, so hopefully I can keep this up, stay motivated, and get below 160 lbs.
Anyhow, the next tournament I’m prepping for is Joslins on 7/8 Nov 09. I’m hoping for a good female turnout, but that same weekend is NoGi Worlds. So one of the females I was planning onseeing there will probably not be there depending on how an injury is doing. Hopefully she’ll be good enough to do Worlds, but hopefully other show up, so I can get some competition. I’m working on getting another female ready for the beginners division. I’m really excited because she could really well, just gotta stay calm, and play her game.