Monday, April 18, 2011

Training Day: Monday

So I'm on the secondary mat, about 20 minutes early for the evening class, getting ready to warm-up a little bit and I'm walking across the mat and suddenly am hyper-aware of being in the gi, preparing to train, and feeling a strange instant connectedness with all those guys I've been watching so intensely over the weekend: Rodolfo Viera, Rafa Mendes, Claudio Calasans, Langhi, Pereira, Tanquinho ...

A very egoless moment, the stuff of Buddhist meditation and entheogenic "capacitation", the kind of oneness that reminds you that are you where you supposed to be because you are truly where you want to be.

A smallish class tonight - I suspect the warming weather has something to do with it, though we're still in the low 50s midway through April. Prof Rodrigo kept us all together, the white belts all the way up, which was a nice change of pace.

We worked on two guard passes and again I thank whatever inspiration it is that is keeping it simple these days. What was especially nice was that Rodrigo had us to a light specific training after we drilled each pass - a great way to burn the techniques into muscle memory.

The first pass was the double underhook pass. The biggest key here was in getting the initial destabilizing pull of the guy hips onto your lap. Too often you end up fighting to get to this position AFTER the guy on the bottom knows what you are trying to do. So getting that initial pull is a big advantage.

From here, keep the elbows wide as you open up the collar on the left side and get the deep grip with the right. Sprawl out to keep the pressure on (his knee to his nose) and tiptoe around to the side. Shuck the near leg with a look back and slide the north arm over across the neck and control the shoulder in a watchdog like side control.

The second pass was a real gem and seemed to be at least partially inspired by Rodolfo Viera's pass of Cobrinha. Here, a simple pistol grip on the left knee, with forearm and elbow parallel to lower leg in a motorcycle grip like way, and stuff grip on the ankle with the right grip (the stuff grip is sort of an arm bent down, scarecrow like position, with the shoulder just over and inside the knee.

This pass works by stuffing the leg and turning that shoulder down into the guy's torso as you come around on that side. It's a nice combination of smash and toreano, with a lot of control early, then a switch to a dominant toreano control of the legs.

This one I'd really like to work on. I'm still a bit adrift when it comes to a Unified Field Theory of Guard Passing, and this one - in addition to being competition tested at the highest levels - makes a lot of sense for me.

161.3 on the scale post-train, everything but the coat. Not bad for a Monday.