January 19, 2010

The last two days have yielded good training.  Last night I went to open mat.  I warmed up with one of the youngsters from the kids class,  (which was still going on when I arrived at the school).  The instructor gave me permission to step on the mat early.  My next roll was with another member of the kids class who is green belt, but who also outweighs me by about 50 pounds.  

I rolled for an hour and a half with four different people, one of whom was my instructor, which I always consider an honor. I take the invitation to roll with him as an opportunity to shine, make mistakes, and push through walls.  

I have been working on putting my opponent into a triangle at the very start of the match.  I grab my opponent's sleeves, place my right foot into the their left shoulder, and my left foot onto their right hip, while keeping by body on my left side.  When performed correctly, this part of the move immobilizes my opponent, and creates a "push-pull" tension that crumbles their center of gravity.  The next part of the move is where I am struggling.  Ideally, I use the tension I created to shoot my right leg over my opponents shoulder, while simultaneously shifting my body to my right, AND pulling my opponents right arm across their body, so their right hand is now at my right side.  Now I can lock my right foot under my left knee around my opponent's neck. 

The other move on my plate  is moving from side control to an arm lock.  If I am on my opponent's right side, I trap their left arm, under the armpit, and grab my own collar.  I place my left leg over their head, and then shift my weight carefully around to their left side, while simultaneously rolling my opponent to their right side.  I place my left knee at their back, swing my right leg over their head, and fall back into the arm lock.   I left out some of the finer points, as describing every little minute detail would get a bit tedious for the reader.    

So, overall, last night's open mat session was good, not great, I felt like I did my mat time, but it was on the weaker side.  I felt like I was rolling a little slow, like my timing was off or something.

I went to class this morning at 1100 am.  We worked on throws, escapes from side control to the knees, and then placing your opponent in side control from the turtle position, (when your opponent is on your side).   Once again, I felt good, not great.  I concentrated on performing each technique, clean and slow, paying careful attention to how each part of the movement felt as I did it.  This is one of my favorite things about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  As a smaller person, technique is a formidable weapon and your most important ally.  Success in any movement, whether it is an escape, a defense, or an offense, often depends on moving your shoulder, hips, arms, any part of the anatomy, just a fraction to one direction or another.  Discovering these giant caches of power in the human machine is like finding a hidden gold mine.  

Overall, a good class. I rolled with one of my favorite training partners, who pushes me to frustration on some days; she is very talented.  Today, she almost had me in an arm lock, but I was able to escape and land myself in a premium side control position.  I tried to move into my own arm lock position, which she escaped, so it was a good roll for both of us.  Equal parts success for not being tapped out and healthy anger at not tapping out my opponent.  I gave 100% to that mat today, a solid roll.

Later this afternoon I went to a Bikram yoga class, as I felt my butt had not kicked quite enough.  The left side of the Bikram studio I go to is slightly warmer than the right side.  As I walked in, I thought, well, let's grab life by the balls and go for the LEFT side of the room.  So the mat went down and I worked.  Toxins?  Gone.  Lactic Acid?  Gone.  Away.  Far away.  I stopped once for one minute during one rotation of triangle pose, and then jumped back in.  

Tomorrow is my Monday at work, so I will hit the kettel bells, actually scratch that, I think I'l do club bells tomorrow after work, in the gym, and then go roll at 6.  I feel good as I write this evening.  I left it on the mat, and that makes me happy.  I worked closer to goal.  

Goodnight all, it's 10pm and I am up at 0415.


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