Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"... burn and rage at close of day ..."

There's a lot of talk about "champion-ness" when it comes to jiu-jitsu.  And, for the record, God love the champion.

But for some of us, jiu-jitsu is simply the warmth of a roaring fireplace in wintertime, a healing chaos in the middle of the orderly decay.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Basic Training and Nothingness

There is nothing like training on a Saturday.

We spent the entire session working on one basic transition from pulling guard to submission.  It's hard to describe how nice it was to spend that much time on a single move.  There is so often a tension between teaching too few moves and too many in a given session.  I think that we've struck a nice balance by using transitions to allow us to work through far more moves in a given session than would otherwise be possible.

Arguably, this is the kind of thing that advanced training is made of.  But more and more I'm willing to guess that, at the end of the day, learning is learning, and the most important thing is to set out the task to be apprehended and then get out of the way and let the students work on apprehending it.  "Basic" and "advanced" may be far more relevant to the teacher than to the student who is simply waiting to be told what to do.

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My training is increasingly being forged by eager young (and not so young) purple belts. And today was only further example of the same.  We have such a strong group of guys working in that "advanced-intermediate" territory, and the fact that so many of them are only a division a way means that they are a great resource for those of us on the smaller end of the scale.

While my technique is certainly being tested by these young guns, mostly what I am learning is efficiency, and keeping the game in a place where I am most comfortable.  I'll never be able to keep up the pace - or even the strength in some instances - but there's no age barrier to ever greater accuracy and precision, and nothing to be lost by taking the time to do everything right.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Training Day: Monday

Good training today, working mostly self-defense (one-two with push-kick to body clinch takedown ... headlock escape) and some specific training from side control.  Got in a little bit of rolling, continuing to work "burienbyarmbar" only with more control and precision.  I think part of what went not-exactly-right with my last armlock was that I was attacking the left arm rather than the right.  And while I am very proud of myself for recognizing the opportunity on my "weaker" side and attacking rather than demurring, I am not impressed with having a "weaker" side where this particular technique is concerned.  A part of what I think is going to make burienbyarmbar work is the ability to attack either arm with equal speed and fluidity.  So, onward for that.

Also, too ... I need to work on my Flat Pass to the right.  To the extent that I'm starting to develop some go-to guard passes, I want to make sure that my best passes are right where I want them to be when I need them.  There have been too many times when I've been stymied in the guard because my preferred pass side was blocked (by a collar-choke attack, for example).  Simply by being able to go to the other side, I'll be able to make those attacks work for me rather than against.

160.3 on the scale post-train.  Typical Monday weight.  Ideally, I'm down around 157 or so come Wednesday.

Barack Obama Hearts Gracie Barra


Friday, November 2, 2012

Season of the Armbar

The dark art of joint locks came home to roost a bit to finish the training week.  I'd promised myself that I'd develop a "go to" submission from the closed guard this year and, after a few months of work, it looks like that submission has arrived.

I'm hoping everything is OK.  And I'll admit that the latest armlock has me realizing that now's the time to ease back and start to focus on the little details that are allowing the submission to work.  I've been thinking about some sweep and take the back options, as well.  But more centrally, I need greater and greater control of the position with more and more efficiency and ease.

Wednesday noon training and twice on Friday for a short, 3x/week.  I'm not entirely sure how my schedule is going to change once I start Clark Kent-ing for Finovate later this month.  But the odds of me making it to the noon class three times a week every week are probably not great.  

As long as I'm able to get in at least one Fundamentals class and one Advanced/Black Belt class ahead of Friday's pre-dawn session, I think I'll be okay.  I'm not sure how nimble I'm going to have to be to make everything work.  But I have to admit that the past 4-5 months have been an atypically opportune time for training, and even if I have to kick back to a 3x/week schedule, it will be far from the end of the world.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

100% Marcelo

Meanwhile, on the other side of the jiu-jitsu spectrum, there's this

Marcelo's 100% Training Philosophy

The caption for this video, while worth reading, is a little misleading.  The point isn't just that Marcelo devotes 100% of his training to jiu-jitsu rather than dividing his time with specific strength and conditioning workouts.  More importantly, Marcelo is showing those who choose this path just how intensely they need to train - regardless of the skill level of their training partner - in order to make the "jiu-jitsu, si / conditioning, no" approach work in the real world.

I think this is especially relevant for those who want to be active in competition jiu-jitsu ("sport" jiu-jitsu is starting to become an epithet), but don't - or can't - devote time to separate strength and conditioning sessions.  There has to be a place for competition-style intensity if you aren't going to be doing off-mat conditioning and Marcelo's short video shows how it's done.

Jiu-Jitsu, Real-Keeping, Rener Edition

Some excellent debates on the past, present and future of Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the wake of the Metamoris event.