Sunday, September 23, 2012

Micro. Transitional. Drilling.

Lloyd Irvin has been talking about this for sometime.  And while I had an idea of where he was coming from, it is great to hear him talk a bit more about the concept and to show it in this video.

Lloyd Irvin Explains His Micro Transitional Drilling System

It's fascinating how few people, even now, understand what LI is bringing to jiu-jitsu.  From quantifying the top performing submissions to bringing standard and widely-used professional sports training and psychological approaches to an art that is still very much in its "emergent" stage, LI is a valuable a figure in contemporary jiu-jitsu as there is.  And I'm not just saying that because my kimura/americana submission rate has skyrocketed over the past month by incorporating some of the most fundamental concepts of his kimura mouse trap system.

I've been trying to refine a couple of key areas of my game, including taking the back.  The micro transition LI shows here for dealing with an opponent turning into you was as valuable as anything I've read in any of the 10+ BJJ books on my shelf or the 20+ BJJ DVDs on the wall.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Training Days: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri (2x)

Another good week of training in the books: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and twice on Friday.  A part of me realizes that this training pace won't last forever.  But given the circumstances, it's been a great way to spend the summer.

A lot of training in back control, which I think reflects an academy-wide effort to keep our training as modern as possible.  And right now, nothing is more important in jiu-jitsu than developing good back control.      It seems as if we've spent a month on different entries and set-ups - which is fine with me.  I'm a big fan of focus when it comes to training and spending this much time working on such a specific - and critical - area has been a godsend.  It doesn't hurt that back mount is one of the weakest parts of my game, either.

The interschool event is tomorrow.  I'm going to try and get there early and get a good spot since all of the adult matches are going to be on the main mat.  I'm not scheduled to help ref (thankfully), but if I can help out I'll do what I can to keep score or even just help them keep the brackets organized.  We'll see.

As I tweeted the other day, I've changed up a few things in my sparring that has made life a whole lot easier. I've been trying to play a Marcelo Garcia-style sitting guard for about a year and a half and I'm pretty much ready to abandon the project.  Although Marcelo and I have (relatively) similar body types, I don't think our bodies want to move in the same ways - or at least not as much as I've assumed in the past.  I've been very reluctant to add core Marcelo Garcia moves to my game - the X-guard, the armdrag - and while I still want to look for ways to incorporate these moves, I'm thinking more and more there's a reason why my body just doesn't seem interested in playing along.

The good news is that I've been refocusing my game in many ways to resemble my Professor's game.  Ironically, it was a minor injury to Professor Rodrigo that got me thinking about the way I have been going about things and what it would mean to make a major change at this point.  Making key adjustments at critical junctures in your development is what allows for that development to take place and there was an interesting moment when it hit me as to what I need to do to get more out of my training.  And what's funny is the way that "the answer" has been right in front of me all along.

It's only been a few days.  But so far, so good.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Winning and Losing and Losing and Winning

Inside BJJ
What is your personal philosophy on BJJ and life?

Lloyd Irvin
You’re either winning or losing.  And each and every day you’re either moving closer or further away from your goal.  No matter what your goals are.  For BJJ, no matter if you want to compete or not.  In life, deciding on what you would consider success and putting yourself in a position to become successful.  97% of the population is losers and only 3% of the population is winners and you have to decide what percentage group you want to be in.  Then surround yourself, or find a way, to get around the 3% group.  For example, in BJJ, if an instructor makes excuses for their students losses like, “Don’t worry about it, he was stronger than you, he outweighed you, he’s a 3 stripe purple belt and you just got your purple belt” then that instructor is in the 97% group, the 3 % group doesn’t make excuses.  I could go on and on about this but hopefully you get my point.  I believe that in everything that you do you’re either winning or losing, either doing what it takes to win or lose and you just have to be honest with yourself and decide if you want to be a winner or a loser.  If you want to get your masters degree, then winning will be actually getting your masters degree.  So. if in your quest for your degree and you skip a class, then you’re losing that day.  If you fail to complete your homework, you are a loser that day and so one.  You’re either winning or losing.  This applies to everything.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Training Daze

If I wait for the pace of training to slow down before I get back to writing regularly, then there's a good chance that I won't be posting punctually until 2020 - or later.

My four-week training average is at a very nice 4.5x.  What's even nicer is that I've been at this pace for fully seven weeks, helping me put in my best two training months ever - at least in terms of volume.

We'll see what September brings.  If I end up teaching morning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, then the moving average will be completely blown up in all likelihood.  It's been the morning classes on Fridays that have made it so much easier to get that fourth or fifth session in each week.  So I can only imagine what will happen if and when the Dawn Patrol gets rolling on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well.  Prof Rodrigo announced to the class on Saturday that the new Tuesdays and Thursdays were postponed for a week (surprise!).  And given my relationship to good news these days, I'm bracing myself for further rollback.  Now that I think of it, I'm not sure if the Wednesday sessions I was going to teach have been postponed also.

As usual, high training frequency, especially when it consists of traditional classes, means that my own personal technical development has been a little scattershot over the past several weeks.  There are some nice surprises: far more armbars than usual, for example.  But I'm only slowly coming to some of the other technical features I've been wanting to work on: more from the deep half, counters to the backstep pass vs the half guard, the barataplata guard, back control and attacks ...  Always the balance between what you've set out to accomplish and what challenges appear en route.

157.5 post-train - and very much post re-hydration.  I was down to 153.5 or so on Saturday after training Friday morning, Friday afternoon and again Saturday afternoon.  There was probably a little more caloric restriction and dehydration involved than I want to admit.  But finding myself well-within the pena category without (necessarily) trying was noteworthy, I thought.

Back at it tomorrow night for what should be a pretty intense advanced session.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Roger Gracie v. Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida

Looking forward to this in a little over a month ...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Interview with Rener Gracie

Doing a lot of writing for the Hustle and plenty of training to boot.  July was the biggest training month ever for me, hitting the mat 19 times that month.  Then, in August, I reached another record training month, getting to the Academy to do work 21 times.

I'm paying for that activity a little bit.  But looking to remain on track here in September.  The fall months are often tricky months to get your training in.  Almost always there is a cold in September or October that knocks a week (or more) off your training pace.  I don't expect this season to be any different.  But forewarned is, to some small degree at least, forearmed.

A lot to catch up on, especially my first stint as a real jiu-jitsu professor last Friday.  For now, here's an interview with Rener Gracie from the good folks over at Bloody Elbow.
In a landscape where Brazilian jiu jitsu is a key element of MMA, tons of gyms have opened up across the world. One name stands at the forefront as the most globally recognized system. Gracie. The Gracies are credited with having brought that mass recognition to the general public, and are basically what some consider to be BJJ royalty. They're like the Kennedys of combat sports. 
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Relentless Fundamentals"

It probably goes too far to say that there is no one outside my academy whose approach to jiu-jitsu I have wanted to emulate more than that of Rickson Gracie.  But it's true.

Classic Judo Chop: Rickson Gracie's Relentless Fundamentals
While many associate high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with complicated moves, Rickson's success came from relentless fundamental technique.
This Judo Chop will start with a macro-view of Rickson's grappling game then break it down into parts. Rickson had a wonderfully diverse grappling background, training under his father Helio Gracie and also his cousin Rolls Gracie. Rolls encouraged his students to keep an open mind when it comes to other grappling arts. As a result Rickson had experience with not just the Gracie brand of jiu jitsu, but also Judo, Sambo and wrestling.