Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tales from the Weak Side

Looking forward to getting back on the mat tomorrow after a couple of days off.  I've basically got two weeks before my new job starts.  And while I don't worry about the new gig taking up too much training time, there will probably be a stretch of a week or two while the old schedule and the new schedule get to know one another.

One critical thing I want to work on over the balance of the year is getting better at doing some of my signature moves on my weak side.  More to the point, I'm talking about passing guard to my opponent's left.

The Effing Pass has given me a directional option to the left.  But it is still based on a strong passing threat to the opponent's right.  I've had great success with this pass this year.  And that means that I need to intensify the technique (or at least the technique's effectiveness) by being able to attack from more than one direction.
The Flat Pass is another example of a technique that I need to be able to execute from both sides.

There's an argument, most popularly from Marcelo Garcia, that you don't need to worry about being able to do the same attack from both sides.  In other words, as long as you have an attack from the left AND an attack from the right, it isn't a big deal if they are different attacks.  This makes a lot of sense to me from a practical standpoint.

But then there's the argument from Professor Carlos, an idea he got from one of his early jiu-jitsu instructors, that there should be no "weak side."  And while that initially sounds overly optimistic, to be equally proficient with each technique whether the move is to the right or the left, it's worth remembering that effectively all we need is relative, not absolute, ambidexterity when it comes to our techniques.  We don't need to perform some imaginary "ideal" armbar from the guard whether we are attacking the right arm or left.  All that is required is that we are able to execute from either direction better than our opponent is at defending from BOTH directions.  And that distinction may make all the difference.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Also, Too

Another great performance by Team Gracie Barra Northwest.  First place Kids.  First place Adult Gi.  First place Overall.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Day at the Revolution, Part 1

A great time at The Revolution down in Bonney Lake this afternoon.

There was a moment when I noticed Jeff and Gina in a moment of pure event execution that just typified the incredible amount of work that is poured into this tournament series year in and year out.  Having been involved in more than a few events in my day - from FM radio promotions at the local bar & grill to artsy stuff like college theatre productions and the annual Tucson Poetry Festival - I am a bit of a stage manager geek and love to watch professionals at work - even when it's just the crucial minutiae that ends up making the difference between a good event and a great one.  There's always a lot of inspiration at The Revolution and it isn't only on the mat.

Had a couple of great conversations this afternoon that I'm going to work on abstracting over the course of the week.  In their different ways, they all were about goal-setting and allowing yourself to fall in love with the choices you've made.

Looking forward to getting back on the mat next week.  I'm training at a very nice pace for me, averaging 4x a week and setting new training records for a fourth month in a row (including this month).  Some of the technical goals I've set, like improving my armbar from the closed guard, have been more than met - a true testament to the value of a little extra focus and a lot of extra training.

I'm also a little freaked out that I've made it through September and October without catching a cold.  I'm supplementing regularly these days, and doing a double dose of Vitamin C about twice a week.  That, and/or dumb luck, I suppose.  But this streak of good health is also something I'm especially grateful for of late.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


"I don't always lose to Jeff Glover.  But when I do, I return the favor with an armbar."


Friday, October 5, 2012

Training Day: Friday

bourgeois (verb) boor-zhwah

1. to use the inside leg to expose a turtled opponent to an initial hook as part of a back-taking technique in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling: