Posted By jjmonkey on August 23, 2010
I’ve heard it said many times before, that in Jiu Jitsu, sometimes you’ll feel like you’re learning and sometimes you’ll feel like you aren’t. You’ll have a period of time where everything feels like its working and then there’s that phase where nothing works. I wonder if White Belt is one giant phase of just simply not getting anything. If you haven’t guessed, this last week was pretty rough.
Don’t get me wrong, it always feels good to train, but maybe sometimes the gains aren’t so readily apparent. I know that I’m always learning something, but I think that my competitive spirit gets the better of me and I just want to WIN! Check it out:
MONDAY 8/16 – Wow I haven’t seen so many peeps in class..What an amazing treat to see 15 or so students on the mat! I was aso lucky to have a good friend come down and checkout a class. He got to take it easy and train off to the side with a couple others who were just starting out. On my side of the mat, Professor Cindy had us working on the beginnings of Spider Guard. We started off with learning to control our opponents sleeves and trapping their arms to the outside of the legs, feet on the opponents hips and the knees pressuring the arms to the outside by keeping the knees opened outward.
I really like playing with this guard as I frequently find myself late to blocking guard passes to my side from the Butterfly guard. I find it much easier to control opponents when I can keep that at a distance and take advantage of using my legs in the mix. It has also helped me learn to feel my opponents movements better, as the guard allows me to keep the distance and ride their movements while I look for an opening to setup a sweep.
Professor Cindy also taught a more advanced pendulum type sweep from that Spider control that blocked the bottom leg while controlling the opponents arm with the foot in the bicep and the opposite sleeve. It’s an awesome sweep, and feels effective for me, especially since I was having trouble using the Scissors Sweep I learned last week to keep my larger opponents off balance.
Even though the drills were fun, training went by in a breeze. That doesn’t mean it was easy..More like I got tapped out in a breeze. One of Master Rigan’s favorite type of training is to have a group stationary on the ground and the other group rotating partners in 2-3 minute rounds. Yes, I can say I got my ass beat by every partner!
I am glad for two things though.
- With the exception of one switch I was able to handle 4 straight partner changes without getting tired. To me that means my cardio is getting much much better.
- I see that one of the main holes in my “Game” is allowing the guard pass to side control way to often. So I spend so much time under side control or mount that I can’t even think about establishing any other sort of control.
WEDNESDAY 8/18 – Another awesome night! The drilling portion consisted of varios submission drills: Armbar from Guard, Armbar from Mount, Triangle from Guard, and Kimura from Full Guard..We started running around the mat and when Master Rigan told us, we jumped with a partner to perform the submission..Each time workiong with a different partner. We had to go as quick as we could, making it right, and then jumping up to do it again. What a drill.. My right side arm bar is becoming as natural as pie..Can’t wait until I can throw up some triangles in the same way.
We did more live training in the same manner. Running for a few laps, then jumping down and rolling with a different partner. Again I can’t really remember much except getting caught in lots of submissions.
Afterwards we rocked some serious sprinting across the mat that pretty much wiped everybody out. Afterwards, Master Rigan talked about how he wanted to make the Academy the best in LA. How if we worked hard, we will end up being monsters on the mat, no matter what belt. I though I caught a glimpse of what Rigan’s vision might be for the West LA academy and had the realization that this ain’t no joke. We are having fun, but we are being taught to perform at a high, high level and to push ourselves to be the best, no matter what our Jiu Jitsu aspirations are.
For the first time as well I saw myself, this middle aged professional sort of guy, possibly competing in a BJJ tournament in the future. And it being possible because we are being taught to believe in ourselves and to train hard, maybe work harder that we ever have at anything else.
FRIDAY 8/20 – Had to skip Open Mat and regular class because of a pulled leg muscle from the sprints on Wednesday! As my man Paul ‘Zen Walker” said, since we’re older, our bodies don’t react the same to stress the way they did when we were younger. So we have to make sure we stretch and warm up as much as possible.
I have a small little nervous anxiety as I begin this next week of training. I’ve been told to expect some cool surprises this week and really am looking forward to what Master Rigan and the other teachers have in store.